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    Aldridge shows way as Spurs rally past Knicks to spoil RJ Barrett debut

    Oct 24, 2019
    LaMarcus Aldridge tries to protect the ball against Bobby Portis.
    PHOTO: ap

    SAN ANTONIO — LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, Bryn Forbes added 20 and the San Antonio Spurs rallied for a 120-111 victory over the Knicks on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time), spoiling RJ Barrett's debut with New York.

    The Knicks have pinned a great deal of hope in Barrett, the No. 2 overall draft pick out of Duke, after failing to sign any marquee free agents in the offseason. Barrett had a solid debut, scoring 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting with five rebounds and two assists in 37 minutes.

    Marcus Morris led New York with 26 points, and Julius Randle added 25 points and 11 rebounds.

    The Spurs are counting on Dejounte Murray, who played in his first game since tearing his right ACL in a preseason game Oct. 7. Murray had 18 points, including a 3-pointer with five minutes remaining that put San Antonio up 105-97. The 6-foot-5 point guard had six assists and eight rebounds.

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    San Antonio outscored New York 37-27 in the fourth quarter to erase a one-point deficit.

    The Spurs opened on a 14-4 run but missed their next five shots as well as two free throws. The lull gave the Knicks' revamped lineup a needed boost of confidence, and it responded by closing the first half on an 11-8 run.

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    San Antonio committed 21 turnovers, which led to 32 points.

    Morris, who signed with the Knicks after backing out of a verbal agreement with the Spurs on a two-year deal, was heavily booed throughout the game. Morris responded to the initial boos by backing down and then hitting a turnaround jumper on DeMar DeRozan for the game's opening points.

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    Trey Lyles, who the Spurs signed after Morris reneged, started at center and had eight points and 11 rebounds.


    Knicks: New York started Barrett, Randle, Morris, Bobby Portis and Alonzo Trier, but Knicks coach David Fizdale said the lineup could change from game to game. ... The Knicks signed F Ivan Rabb to a two-way contract. The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 14.6 minutes over two seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. He will primarily play for New York's G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

    Spurs: Gregg Popovich opened his 24th season as San Antonio's coach, setting the record for most seasons coaching one franchise. Popovich was previously tied with Utah's Jerry Sloan. ... Popovich acknowledged the Spurs fully guaranteed the final year of Aldridge's contract. Aldridge was guaranteed $7 million for 2021 before the Spurs picked up their option Wednesday to fully guarantee his $24 million contract. ... Popovich, Larry Brown, Hubie Brown and Bill Bertka are the only coaches to serve as an NBA head coach in their 70s in league history. Popovich turned 70 on Jan. 28.

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    Knicks: Host Washington on Saturday night.

    Spurs: At Brooklyn on Friday night.

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    LaMarcus Aldridge tries to protect the ball against Bobby Portis.
    PHOTO: ap
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