Rudy Gay tips his cap at teammates White, Poeltl

    Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) drives around San Antonio Spurs' Derrick White during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 131-118. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

    The San Antonio Spurs have won two-straight games thanks in large part to guard Derrick White and center Jakob Poeltl.

    In the team's recent win over the Utah Jazz, White chipped in six points, four assists and three steals. Poeltl added eight points and six rebounds.

    The duo have been stepping up for San Antonio and Rudy Gay has noticed their recent efforts.

    “Yeah, they are great players," said Gay following the team's victory over the Jazz. "Derrick [White] is in his second year here and he has taken great strides."

    Beset with a foot injury to start the season, and then returning to the bench, White has been key for the Spurs during this two-game winning streak. He's posting 2.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 57 percent shooting and 4.0 points in 19 minutes.

    "I think people would really understand how good he is if he didn’t have those couple of injuries he’s had last year and this year, so he’s a guy that could really help us," Gay added.

    Poeltl has brought his toughness, and has been playing well in late in games for coach Gregg Popovich, who elected to sit LaMarcus Aldridge at the end of the last two games.

    San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) goes to the basket between New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic and guard Ian Clark (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

    Since earning increased minutes, Poeltl is averaging 8.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 21.5 minutes during the current Spurs' winning streak. Over his last five games, he is averaging 9.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 77.8 percent shooting.

    "He’s (Poeltl) a young kid, but he’s really been wonderful in picking things up," said Popovich.

    With Pau Gasol out due to injury, Poeltl is making the most of his time on the court including a 20-point outing versus the Jazz on the road. Not bad for a player who was seen as a lesser trade piece during the off-season Kawhi Leonard deal.

    Said Gay, "Jakob [Poeltl] also is a bruiser down there [and] can finish, and also he just knows the game. So, this is a good chance for them to show what they can do.”


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