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SPORTS: Austin Spurs sweep Stockton Kings at Laredo exhibition games

SPORTS: Austin Spurs sweep Stockton Kings at Laredo exhibition games

By Vicente Mendoza
Sports Editor

And Alexia Aleman
Bridge Staff Podcaster

Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024

The Austin Spurs G League basketball team defeated the Stockton Kings in both games of a series on Feb. 2 to 3. Marking this as the third time the Spurs have played in Laredo at the Sames Auto Arena.

In Friday’s game, the Spurs won 127-111 and on Saturday, they won 105-103. An estimated 6,000 Laredoans attended both games, including Texas A&M International University students, faculty and alumni.

Austin Spurs game in Laredo
Cris Cordova | Bridge
Austin Spurs’ Javante McCoy (3) shoots for three against the Stockton Kings on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo. The Spurs won 105-103.

On Friday, the Spurs defense came out to play, starting with a turnover against the Kings. It turned into a fast break score to start the game. This explosive start by the Spurs allowed them to go on a 6-0 run getting a dominant lead against the Kings—the first half of the game ended with the Kings turning the ball over 11 times. Spurs forward RaiQuan Gray put up solid numbers on Friday.

“That is our style of play for our team,” Gray said. “We are trying to speed the game up and play fast, and we try to keep that play for every game.”

The first half ended with the Spurs up 62-53.

The second half was no different. The defense dominated, getting several turnovers leading them to go up 13 points in the third quarter. While the defense was clicking in every way possible, the offense led by Gray had their time to shine. They scored every time they had the ball.

Gray accounted for 11 of the 13 points in the second half. That helped the Spurs to gain a 20-point lead. Gray ended the game with 20 points and 11 boards leading the Spurs to victory, with a final score of 127-111.

“The most important thing for us today was to win,” Gray said. “Whatever that meant for me, if it was scoring or rebounding, we just wanted to get this win.”

Austin Spurs game in Laredo.
Cris Cordova | Bridge
Austin Spurs’ Mamadi Diakite (29) prepares to go up for two against the Stockton Kings on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo. The Spurs won 105-103.

Saturday night brought the same intensity as the night before. The second game attracted a larger crowd too.

The Spurs held an advantage that night with a quick start and scored first. 

The Kings were not too far behind, though. The first half was a battle of attrition for both. The Spurs led throughout the first half, which ended with a score of 55-47 in favor of the Spurs. Leading scorers in the first half were forward Mamadi Diakite (#29) and Sir’Jabari Rice (#11). 

The second half of the game is where things got close. The Kings grabbed the lead a few times before the Spurs took over.

 The Spurs kept the scores tied throughout the third and fourth quarters. Until this point, the game looked like a classic thriller, but someone had to step up. Guard David Duke Jr. and Diakite from the Spurs put the team on their backs and carried them to victory within the last 10 minutes. The Spurs and Kings matched scores for the last 12 seconds of the game at 103.The Spurs broke the tie and won with free throws. The last two free throws allowed Austin to beat Stockton with a final score of 105-103.

Austin Spurs in Laredo.
Cris Cordova | Bridge
Austin Spurs’ guard Sir’Jabari Rice (11) drives the ball against the Stockton Kings on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo. The Spurs won 105-103.
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