Hornets-Spurs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 22, 2013
After sweeping a two-game trip to break out of their road funk, the San Antonio Spurs look to continue their dominance at home. It may not be as easy as expected against the New Orleans Hornets, who have given the Spurs a tough time this season. San Antonio will try for its 15th consecutive home win and sixth overall Wednesday night against a New Orleans team that could be without its franchise big man. The Spurs (33-11) haven't lost in San Antonio in more than two months, running their streak to 14 with a 95-88 victory over Golden State on Friday. They improved to an NBA-best 18-2 on their home floor, winning there during the streak by an average of 16.0 points. With a win over the last place Hornets (14-27), the Southwest Division leaders can move one step closer to the franchise record of 22 consecutive home wins set during the 2010-11 season. The Spurs have won 15 of 17 at home against New Orleans, but victories in this season's series have been difficult to come by regardless of the venue. San Antonio has won two of three by a total of nine points, and lost 95-88 in New Orleans on Jan. 7. It won't help that the Spurs are expected to be without Manu Ginobili for a fifth straight game because of a strained left hamstring. Ginobili has contributed 34 points and 11 assists in 49 minutes of the two games he's played against New Orleans. The Hornets, however, have their own injury scare to deal with after Anthony Davis hurt his left ankle and sat out the second half of a 114-105 win over Sacramento on Monday. "I landed on (a) foot and rolled it,'' Davis said. "Pretty sure I should be back. It's fine." Davis, who missed 11 games earlier this season due to a stress fracture in the same ankle, will be a game-time decision. It would be a big loss considering the No. 1 overall pick has averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds against the Spurs. After a 7-25 start, New Orleans has won seven of nine - including three of its last four on the road. That surge has coincided with the return of Eric Gordon, who has averaged a team-high 17.4 points since debuting after offseason knee surgery. Gordon had 24 to lead the Hornets past the Spurs earlier this month. New Orleans has averaged 106.8 points and shot 33 of 84 (39.3 percent) from beyond the arc in their last four, but is likely to have a tougher time against the Spurs. San Antonio has limited the Hornets to 11 of 46 (23.9 percent) shooting from 3-point range this season. Ryan Anderson, who's hit an NBA-high 125 3-pointers, is 6 of 18 against the Spurs while averaging just 12.0 points. Tim Duncan had 24 points and 17 rebounds and Tony Parker added 20 points as the Spurs closed on a 15-3 run to win their fifth straight, 90-85 at Philadelphia on Monday. "When you've been playing a long time, and you have a great coach, you know what to do,'' Parker said. Parker had 25 points to lead the Spurs to a 99-94 victory on Dec. 21 in the most recent home meeting with the Hornets. While the Spurs rank near the top of the NBA in scoring (104.0) and 3-point percentage (38.2), they've averaged just 95.3 points and shot 16 for 59 (27.1 percent) from beyond the arc against the Hornets.
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