Spurs (11-7) vs. Charlotte Hornets (8-10)
When, where: 6 p.m., Saturday, Charlotte, N.C.
Season series: Spurs lead 1-0
Last meeting: Spurs 108, Hornets 101, Nov. 3, AT&T Center
Spurs’ last game: Lost to Pelicans 107-90, Wednesday, New Orleans
Hornets’ last game: Lost to Cavaliers 100-99, Friday, Cleveland
Spurs’ last 10 games, streak: 7-3, lost one
Hornets’ last 10 games, streak: 3-7, lost one
Notable: Second-year pro Bryn Forbes has made more three-pointers this season (18) in 18 games than he did all of last season (17) in 36 games.
The last time the Spurs played the Charlotte Hornets, second-year pro Bryn Forbes and veteran forward Rudy Gay came off the bench and combined for 42 points in a 108-101 victory for the Silver and Black.
Forbes scored 22 points and Gay had 20 as San Antonio’s reserves outscored Charlotte’s bench 64-16 on Nov. 3 at the AT&T Center.
With All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard Tony Parker still rehabbing quad injuries that have sidelined them for months now, the Spurs’ backups have had to step up and see considerable action since the start of the season.
The Silver and Black began the season 4-0 before they beat the Hornets to break out of a four-game skid. Manu Ginobili, who played in the 1,000th regular-season game of his career that night, and Dejounte Murray each scored 10 points against Charlotte.
The Spurs are coming off a 107-90 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, who fell behind 15-0 before getting their wake-up call. Led by big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans led 50-42 at the half and ended the third quarter on a 26-6 run that blew the game open.
The Pelicans, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "played well for three quarters. They were the more aggressive team and they made shots, executed well. We played very unwisely in a lot of different situations for the last three quarters."
Gay finished with 19 points to lead San Antonio’s scoring, and Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 and 16, respectively. Murray had 14 points and Kyle Anderson 12 to round out the Silver and Black’s double-digit scoring.
"They just picked up their intensity and we never picked up ours," Aldridge said. We had turnovers and did not move the ball as well, so they were able to take advantage of that. They outplayed us tonight."
The Spurs offense has been inconsistent throughout most of the season, but it’s been especially spotty lately, failing to score 100 points in four of the team’s last five games.
San Antonio shot 39.8 percent overall (35/88) and 25 percent (6/24) from the three-point line in the loss to New Orleans. Starting guards Patty Mills (1/7) and Danny Green (0/5) were a combined 1 of 12 from the field.
The Silver and Black, who fell to the Timberwolves 98-86 on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis, have lost their last two road games.
A matchup with the Hornets may be just the tonic the Spurs need. They lead the series against Charlotte 40-15 and are 4-1 in their last five road games against the Hornets.
Charlotte will play San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back. The Hornets played defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland tough on the road Friday, but missed their last eight shots in the final 3:33 and lost 100-99.
Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who had won three in a row. Howard has finished with three consecutive double-doubles since Nov. 20, averaging 21.8 points and 15.5 rebounds.
Up next for the Spurs after Saturday’s game: vs. Dallas, Monday, 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center.
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