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Spurs Take Charge As Preseason Kicks Off
11 October 1997. San Antonio Spurs 99, Washington Wizards 87 (preseason record: 0-1)
Game leaders: Murray (15 points), Webber (8 rebounds), Whitney, Shammgod (4 assists)
It was the only local preseason game the Wizards were going to play this year, but they didn't put on enough of a good showing in front of the home crowd as the San Antonio Spurs got ahead early and held off a late charge by the Wizards second-line unit to win this preseason opening match.
Ric Bucher of the Washington Post provides a good summary of the game's high and low points. The Wizards were short-handed because of injuries: Lorenzo Williams started in place of Muresan, and Harvey Grant started at small forward in place of Juwan Howard.
The crowd reacted yet again favorably to the entry of Shammgod into the game in the second quarter, much as they reacted to his entry in the public scrimmage. He's energetic and he's showing some defensive presence, so it'll be interesting to see how Bickerstaff handles his playing time.
Tim Duncan showed in this game how good he can be, scoring a game-high 19 points and choosing his spots better than CWebb. The Spurs also got double-digit scoring out of 4 other players and executed better than the Wizards. The Wizards committed 20 turnovers and 36 fouls, compared to the Spurs' 11 and 20, respectively. Still, it helped the coaching staff evaluate some talent a little bit more.
After the game, the Wizards cut Charles Shackleford, who has been ineffective since he was signed earlier in the week.
wtf 14 October 1997
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