SPURS GAMEDAY: Silver and Black have played better on road than at home

Spurs (8-3) vs. Sacramento Kings (4-7)
Tipoff: 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
Kings’ last game: Lost to Portland 122-120, OT, Friday, Portland
Spurs’ last game: Beat Miami 94-90, Monday, AT&T Center
Notable: The Spurs beat the Kings 102-94 on Oct. 27 in Sacramento. 

SAN ANTONIO – Now that they’ve won two in a row at home for the first time this season, the Spurs put their unblemished road record on the line with two games in California over the next three nights.

The Silver and Black and Los Angeles Clippers have the NBA’s best road records (5-0) three weeks into the season. Defending league champion Cleveland (3-0) is the only other team unbeaten on the road.    

The Spurs (7-3) will try to beat a second opponent for the second time this season when they play Sacramento (4-7) on Wednesday night. 

They hung on for a 94-90 victory over Miami on Monday, two weeks after beating the Heat on the road. San Antonio defeated the Kings 102-94 on Oct. 27 in Sacramento.

“We’ve been playing pretty well on the road,” Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard said after Monday night’s win over Miami. “It is the home games that have been bothering us. It’s always tough to play on the road. We have to focus in, get to the paint, run our offense and hit the open shots.”

The Silver and Black lost three consecutive home games in a nine-day span before breaking out of the skid with a 96-86 victory against Detroit last Friday. The win over Miami on Monday pushed San Antonio’s home record to 3-3. The Spurs hadn’t lost three in a row at home since December 2014.

S.A. plays five of its next six games on the road, and that’s fine with point guard Tony Parker.

“We’ve played better on the road this year than at home for whatever reason,” he said. “It’s always good to play well on the road. Teams that win championships win big games on the road.”

The Spurs play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night. They will be shorthanded during the trip California.

Guard Danny Green (sore groin) is questionable for Wednesday night’s game and backup center Dewayne Dedmon has a sprained left knee and did not travel with the team, the Spurs announced Tuesday. Green did not play the second half of Monday night’s game after getting injured in the second quarter. Dedmon hurt his knee in the third quarter and sat out the fourth period.

Leonard finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the win against Miami. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and was followed by Pau Gasol (12), Parker (11) and Patty Mills (10).

Green hit a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter to give the Spurs their biggest lead, 18 points. S.A. led 55-40 at the half and 71-60 going into the fourth quarter, but 11 turnovers in the last two periods helped fuel a Miami comeback. The Heat cut the deficit to 92-88 with 11.1 seconds left.

“We’ve got to understand that when teams try to close out games with the small lineups and we keep our bigger lineup out there, we’ve got to figure out how to hurt these teams, make sure we punish them on the offensive end,” Gasol said. “Because they’re going to try to play a lot of pick-and-roll, try force switches and get those threes up, try to get back into the game.

“We’ve just got to be really efficient and limit our turnovers, and make sure we get the ball  where we want to get it to, take advantage of mismatches, so we can capitalize and hurt them, keep our leads.”

Next up for the Spurs: at Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, 9:30 p.m.

(© 2016 KENS)


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