76ers-Spurs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 05, 2013
The San Antonio Spurs had been rolling before coming up short their last time out due in part to a lack of energy. The Philadelphia 76ers could be faced with a similar issue Saturday night as they conclude a season-high eight-game road trip. Seeking a 10th straight home win, the Spurs try to get back on track against a 76ers team surely dreading another visit to San Antonio. One night after beating Milwaukee 117-110, the Spurs (26-9) saw their season-best seven-game winning streak come to an end Thursday in a 100-83 loss at New York. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker scored just 11 points apiece while Manu Ginobili was limited to eight on 2-of-10 shooting for San Antonio, which was outrebounded 48-35 and outscored 36-12 in the paint. "They shot the hell out of it and I could see it wasn't going to happen," said coach Gregg Popovich, whose team was held to a season-low point total. "Just too low on fuel and their defense was too good. Bad combination, and then they made shots, which makes it even worse." Getting back home could help the Spurs, who didn't appear too bothered by Thursday's result. "We lost a game, it's the middle of the season. It happens. We move on to the next game and hopefully get our legs back underneath us. We just won (seven) in a row and lost a game. I think we'll be alright," Duncan said. "It's a long season with a lot of games. You're gonna win some, you're gonna lose some. We feel pretty good about ourselves right now, I think we're playing pretty well." San Antonio has been especially good at the AT&T Center, where it went 9-0 in December and outscored opponents by an average of 16.9 points. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to Philadelphia (15-19), which has dropped 24 of 25 road matchups in this series dating to 1987 - including the last eight while managing just 88.4 points per game. The 76ers were limited to 27 points in the second half of a 93-76 defeat during their most recent visit March 25. Philadelphia also struggled down the stretch Friday in a 109-85 loss at Oklahoma City. Nick Young had 21 points off the bench for the 76ers, who shot 40.5 percent and were outscored 63-43 over the final two quarters. Jrue Holiday added 15 points and nine assists. Young attempted all eight of the team's free-throws Friday, making six. "We've got to be stronger, take that ball to the basket and make them foul us," said coach Doug Collins, whose team has dropped five of seven on its trek and 10 of 13 overall. "For one guy to shoot a free throw tonight, I'm not saying anything that that has anything to do with the whistle. So, I don't want that to be miscalculated at all." No team has played more road games since the start of December than the 76ers, a stretch during which they've gone 2-10. After Saturday they play 13 of 15 at home. Philadelphia has dropped five straight in the second of back-to-backs and is 2-7 in such games overall. Spurs forward Stephen Jackson is uncertain to be available after spraining his right ankle against New York.
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