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Then a few possessions later, Beverley snatched it away, leading many to wonder whether Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would pull the 20-year-old rookie."I don't go out starstruck, surprised, nervous or fearing anything," Murray said. He left me in the game, and as the game went on, I got more comfortable."Kyle Anderson saw Murray's postseason debut as the point guard's first steps toward solidifying the team's trust in him, a process that needs to continue during the stretch run toward this year's playoffs."We knew he was a tough kid, but he just proved it that whole playoffs," Anderson said. Parker, who had been the team's starter since 2001, said Popovich informed him before a 94-86 loss against the Indiana Pacers on Jan."It's not easy to not get the minutes you want all season, and then [they] say, 'Hey, you're starting in a playoff game tonight.' That's not easy for anybody, especially a 20-year-old kid. 21 that he "thought it was time" to go with Murray as the starter.29 selection of the 2016 NBA draft with an eye toward making him the heir apparent at point guard to Parker, a future Hall of Famer. "We walked away from that interview wanting to ask more questions, and with a deeper appreciation."Murray decided going into his sophomore year at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle that an all-in approach to basketball would help him escape "a lot of stuff that goes on around there: gang-related stuff, killings, people selling drugs" at a school described by The Seattle Times in 2015 as "Seattle's smallest, most troubled high school."The school had produced Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford, as well as Doug Christie, Terrance Williams, Nate Robinson and C. In addition to staying in contact with Murray throughout that time, Crawford often communicated with the point guard's mother, Shameka Thompson, as well as uncles Terry Thompson, who lives with the point guard in San Antonio and competed in high school against Crawford, and Reuben Thompson. 3, Murray reached 500 career points, becoming the first Spur since Leonard to score 500 points or more and tally 300-plus rebounds over his first 100 games.The Spurs saw the 6-foot-11 wingspan, the athleticism, toughness and rebounding ability, but came away most impressed by Murray's pre-draft interview."We got an appreciation for who he was more after interviewing than we would have if we had not been able to sit down with him," Spurs general manager R. Murray's family often showed him Crawford's messages of encouragement to keep him on track."And then, he ended up going to my high school, and our relationship just really took off," Crawford told ESPN last December. Murray pulled down 11 rebounds two days before that against the Houston Rockets, marking his ninth game with 10-plus rebounds this season, which ranks as the most double-digit rebounding performances by a Spurs point guard in a single season.Murray remains reluctant to discuss the specifics of his troubled childhood. Popovich often describes Murray as "fearless" and "unimpressed" by the competition, a sentiment shared by Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone.But one NBA personnel executive described Murray's situation as "unimaginable.""But I understood being around Jamal Crawford how important it is to come play an 82-game season, and hopefully be able to play in the playoffs," Murray said. Murray became just the third player in NBA history to record 13 rebounds in a game in which he didn't score a point on Jan. He gets after it on both ends, which is what I like.SAN ANTONIO -- Nicknamed "Baby Boy," second-year San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray presides over a maturation process that needs him to transform into a man in a hurry."Where I come from, people don't make it to this," Murray told ESPN. But I can't be out there with that type of mindset. I want to be as great as I can as soon as possible.I'm not really out there thinking, 'Oh, I'm playing against [Stephen] Curry' or 'I'm playing against [Kevin] Durant.' They're just another basketball player that have already established themselves."That's precisely what Murray will be trying to do when the Spurs face the Cleveland Cavaliers (ABC, p.m.

It's worked out well."San Antonio drafted the then-19-year-old Murray with the No. Murray viewed himself as next in the school's basketball lineage -- an idea bolstered only through a relationship with Crawford dating back to when Murray was in sixth grade. So, I'm trying to do everything I can to reach that level."In a loss to the Utah Jazz on Feb."Because I understand being a black male in this world, you don't really get chances.You're already a target, no matter who it is, what situation it is."I want to be great.Anderson called Murray "a gym rat," a description the point guard won't deny."When I come here, I feel like this is my drug.This is my party," Murray told ESPN, pointing to the court as he leaned against a wall of an empty gym at the Spurs' training facility.

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3 seed Houston Rockets due to veteran Tony Parker tearing a quadriceps tendon in Game 3 that ended his season.

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