Spurs-Magic Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2012
The San Antonio Spurs may be embarrassed about their latest performance, and their longest road losing streak in 23 years may be cause for even more shame. The Spurs attempt to end a 10-game losing streak away from home Wednesday night by beating the surging Magic in Orlando for the first time in almost four years. San Antonio (9-5) has won all nine of its home games, but has dropped all five on the road. Dating to last season and including three playoff defeats at Memphis, the Spurs have lost their last 10 games away from home. They haven't endured a longer road losing streak since dropping 22 straight Feb. 4-Nov. 14, 1989, two years before current starting guard Kawhi Leonard was born. "We're really good at home and on the road, we (stink). That's the biggest difference," coach Gregg Popovich said. San Antonio struggled on the road again Tuesday, losing 120-98 at Miami. The Spurs seemed to be headed for a victory while leading by as many as 17, but they were outscored 39-12 in the third quarter and never recovered. "We should be embarrassed," Popovich said. The Spurs are allowing an average of 109.0 points on the road this season, allowing opponents to shoot 53.7 percent overall and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. A visit to Orlando (10-3) may not solve those issues. The Spurs have lost three in a row there since a victory on March 25, 2008, surrendering 107.7 points per game in those defeats. Unlike San Antonio, the Magic are on a roll and are seeking their third win in as many days. Fatigue didn't appear to be a problem Tuesday, when they defeated Charlotte 96-89 and extended their winning streak to five games. "Playing some great basketball - just got to keep it up," said center Dwight Howard, who had 25 points and 17 rebounds against the Bobcats. "We picked it up a little bit. We just have to be consistent and understand that this is going to be a tough season." Howard has been a bit inconsistent in recent games, scoring a season-high 45 in a 117-109 win at Golden State last Thursday, but following that up with eight points in Monday's 102-93 victory at New York. Howard totaled 55 points while making 22 of 29 shots and grabbing 32 rebounds as the Magic and Spurs split two meetings last season, with the home team winning each. The home team has won the last four games in this series. The Spurs aren't getting similar production from their own veteran big man. Tim Duncan was held to eight points and seven boards Tuesday, and is averaging career lows of 12.4 and 6.9, respectively. Tony Parker leads San Antonio with 16.1 points and 7.2 assists per game, and he's been shooting 51.1 percent and averaging 21.0 points over his last five games.
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