Spurs players show up at AT&T Center to support G Leaguers

Lonnie Walker returned to action Wednesday against the Raptors after what the Spurs called a “stomach illness” forced him to miss Monday’s win over the Lakers.

“I had almost every symptom imaginable besides my stomach,” the team’s sixth man said. “I had fever and chills. I don’t want to think about it. “

Fortunately for Walker, he recovered in time to join several of his teammates Tuesday night at a rare Austin Spurs game played at the AT&T Center.

Six other Spurs players – Keldon Johnson, Tre Jones, Josh Primo, Jakob Poeltl, Jock Landale and Josh Richardson – attended the game to cheer on their G League brethren.

Despite the support of the NBA players and Devontae Cacok’s 27 points, the Austin Spurs fell to the Agua Caliente Clippers 124-118.

“I think almost everybody on the team dang near played for the Austin Spurs, so it means a lot,” Walker said of the team’s affinity for the G Leaguers.

Making the gathering of Spurs players at the game even more impressive was the fact that not all of them toiled in Austin.

“Even Josh (Richardson) was there,” Walker said. “(He) didn’t have to be there. It just shows how close-knit the Spurs organization is. “

Primo said there was no way he was going to miss Tuesday’s game after playing in seven games with Austin.

“I had to support my guys,” the 19-year-old rookie said. “It was fun, especially to see guys I’ve been working with all year be on the big stage and show what they can do. I believe in each and every one of those guys. They’ve shown me what they can do over the course of the year. I’m happy to see them go out and perform. “

Poeltl never played for the Austin Spurs, but he recalled with fondness his time suiting up for Toronto’s G League affiliate as a rookie after the Raptors selected him ninth overall in the 2016 NBA draft.

“For me, (the G League) was great because I had like a two- or three-month stretch my first year where I didn’t really see the court and you have limited practice in the NBA during the season, so it was good to just go there and feel like I could play basketball again, ”the Austrian said. “I could just be out there and just be myself and get the rhythm back.”

In addition to Primo, Spurs rookie Joe Wieskamp has spent a good amount of time in the G League this season. Starting at shooting guard, the second-round pick from Iowa scored 23 points on 9 of 11 from the floor, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, Tuesday.

“It’s good for your confidence (as a rookie) because you don’t really know what is going on yet and are still trying to figure everything ouit,” Poeltl said of what the rookies gain playing in the G League. “Just being able to play without being in your own head about it feels really good.”

Tuesday’s game featured a pair of Brennan graduates. In 17 minutes for Austin, Jordan Murphy had three points, four rebounds and three assists. In 32 minutes for Agua Caliante, George King pumped in 20 points on 8 of 12 from the field.

Cacok playing well with G League team

Cacok’s strong outing didn’t surprise those who have followed his play in the G League this season.

The third-year forward is averaging 19.4 points on 54.2 percent shooting from the floor and 12.6 rebounds for Austin.

“He’s a monster on the boards,” Primo said. “You know you are going to get that from him every night. He’s continued to work on his game di lui to where he’s been able to knock down open jumpers and keep the defense honest. He’s doing really well. “

The Spurs recently rewarded the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Cacok by converting his two-way contract into a standard NBA deal.

“That dude is strong, very strong,” Walker said. “I have seen the stat lines. I have seen the numbers. To see him play live, it makes you appreciate the work he has put it. He deserves that contract. “

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