Spurs-Bobcats Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 08, 2012
Since the Charlotte Bobcats matched their win total from last season's record-setting debacle, they've slipped right back into their losing habits. Facing a surging San Antonio Spurs team likely won't cure their woes. Charlotte looks to avoid a seventh consecutive loss Saturday night against San Antonio, which begins a four-game road trip. The Bobcats finished the shortened 2011-12 season 7-59 and set the NBA record for futility with a .106 winning percentage, but it took them only 12 games to reach that win total this season after beating Washington on Nov. 24. Charlotte (7-11), though, hasn't won since, dropping six straight following Friday's 108-93 loss at Milwaukee. Even the return of Gerald Henderson, who missed 13 games with a left foot sprain, hasn't been able to spark the struggling squad. Henderson scored a team-high 19 points off the bench in his third game back for the Bobcats, who have dropped the last five by no more than six points after their streak began with a 45-point loss at Oklahoma City. "We didn't come out with a lot of energy,'' Henderson said. "I think when you play a team like Milwaukee with really good guards, at home, you have to match that energy.'' Kemba Walker hit 8 of 13 from the field and finished with 16 points while rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and 11 boards for the Bobcats, who trailed by as many as 26. "We spotted them 33 points,'' coach Mike Dunlap said of the first quarter. "We're running uphill the rest of the way. We've got to do better.'' Charlotte has lost 13 of 15 all-time meetings with San Antonio, which is coming off a 114-92 blowout of Houston on Friday. The Spurs (16-4), whose only loss in their last nine games was a five-point defeat at Miami on Nov. 29 when coach Gregg Popovich rested Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, shot 55.2 percent against the Rockets and never trailed. Nobody played more than 26 minutes as six players scored in double figures. "We weren't as consistent as we'd like to be, but we had a really good pace offensively and I got to play a lot of guys,'' Popovich said. Parker scored a team-high 17 points and added seven assists, while Duncan finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Tiago Splitter added 15 points while Ginobili and Patrick Mills scored 12 apiece - part of a 59-point effort from the Spurs' bench. Duncan said the blowout victory was needed given the trip ahead. "Obviously with the game (Saturday), and this long flight tonight, we wanted to have as much rest as possible and not take Charlotte lightly," Duncan said. "It was good to keep our minutes down, good to give a lot of guys a lot of minutes and spread it around as much as possible. We need as much rest as possible.'' Parker scored 15 points and Duncan added 14 in the Spurs' 102-72 win March 2 in the most recent meeting. The Bobcats last beat San Antonio 92-76 on Jan. 15, 2010, in Charlotte.
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