Spurs (32-26) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (25-30)
When, where: Tuesday, 7 p.m., FexExForum, Memphis, Tenn.
Last season: Spurs won series 4-0
All-time series record: Spurs lead 70-24
Season series: Memphis leads 2-1
Last meeting: Grizzlies 96, Spurs 86, Jan. 9, Memphis
Spurs' last game: Lost to Utah Jazz 125-105, Saturday, Salt Lake City
Grizzlies' last game: Beat New Orleans Pelicans 99-90, Saturday, Memphis
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 5-5, lost four
Grizzlies' last 10 games/streak: 4-6, won one
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward Rudy Gay (sprained left ankle), probable; forward Ben Moore (G League assignment), out; point guard Dejounte Murray (torn right anterior cruciate ligament), out; guard Lonnie Walker IV (sprained right ankle), out; point guard Derrick White (right heel soreness), out.
Grizzlies' injury/inactive report: Forward Kyle Anderson (right shoulder soreness), out; guard/forward Dillon Brooks (right toe injury), out; forward Chandler Parsons (not with team), out.
Notable: San Antonio is seventh in the Western Conference standings, trailing No. 6 Utah by one game. If the playoffs started Tuesday, the Spurs would play the Denver Nuggets in the first round . . . Memphis is next-to-last in the West standings . . . The Silver and Black start their All-Star break after Tuesday's game. They will be off until resuming their eight-game rodeo road trip against the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 22. San Antonio ends the trip a back-to-back against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 24-25 . . . San Antonio plays the Detroit Pistons in its next home game Feb. 27 . . . The Spurs have gone on an extended road trip each year since 2003 to make room at the AT&T Center for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, scheduled Feb. 7-24 this year . . . The Silver and Black are the only NBA team with an all-time winning record against every team in the league. They lead the series against Memphis 70-24 . . . This is only the second season in Spurs history that they have had four players make 100+ three-pointers. The four: Marco Belinelli, Davis Bertans, Bryn Forbes and Patty Mills. Matt Bonner, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson and Gary Neal each had 100+ threes during the 2010-11 season. h/t Jordan Howenstine
Weighed down by the burden of their worst start in the 17-year history of the rodeo road trip, the Spurs returned to San Antonio after falling to the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
After taking Sunday off, the Silver and Black were back at their practice facility Monday morning, working on ways to shore up a porous defense that has yielded an average of 130 points during the team’s four-game skid.
The Spurs are allowing an average of 111.4 points, and have given up more than 100 in each of their last 16 games.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had this time, since I’ve been here anyway, (of) being able to come back during the rodeo road trip,” veteran guard Patty Mills said. “Obviously, being home plays a huge role, coming in this morning and smelling your own practice facility and getting out on the floor and getting some shots up, and regrouping.
“A good day spent yesterday at home. Just a good peace of mind, I think. We’re going to put all our energy and effort into the game against Memphis and then understand that we have a really significant break to be able to rest up, and make a big push after All-Star break.”
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge concurred with Mills.
“It’s always nice to come home,” Aldridge said. “Been on the road for a long time. Get a night in your bed and get some home cooking always helps.”
The 125-105 loss in Utah dropped the Spurs to 0-4 on the eight-game trip that started in Sacramento last Monday. San Antonio lost to reigning NBA champion Golden State and Portland in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday before Saturday’s defeat in Salt Lake City.
Tuesday’s game will be the Spurs’ last before the All-Star break. The All-Star Game is Sunday in Charlotte, N.C.
“To be honest, coming off the Utah loss directly after the game, it’s deflating,” Mills said. “I think in any situation like that where you lose four games in a row on the road, it’s going to have that sense. But, like I said, as competitors and as pride takes over, we got the chance to come home and regroup and sleep in our own and shoot at our own facility.
“So, I think we can erase that feeling of deflating and go into the game with a lot of pride and a lot of energy, and determination and hunger, I guess, to get this one game before going into All-Star break.”
After playing Memphis, the Silver and Black will be off until resuming their rodeo trip at Toronto on Feb. 22. They end the trip with a back-to-back against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 24-25.
The Spurs won five straight before leaving on their road trip.
Asked if it’s sometimes difficult to remember when the team won a game, Aldridge said: “When you lose two in a row, it feels like forever. The main focus is definitely to win. Got to take it game by game. Focus on Memphis, and get that one and build from there.
“No one wants to lose. No excuses. We’ll figure it out.”
Mills said Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies will be pivotal for the Spurs, who have finished the rodeo trip with a winning record in 14 of the previous 16 seasons.
“For us to have the road trip that we’ve had so far, to be able to go into the break with some sort of momentum and confidence, I guess, in ourselves, and in the team, and trust in the system and what we’re being told, I think it’s (the game) huge,” Mills said. “We understand they’ve (Grizzlies) also made some changes since we’ve last seen them. They’re going to be different.”
The biggest change for the Grizzlies is that they no longer have 7-foot-1 center Marc Gasol, traded to Toronto last week, in the middle.