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News » Spurs-Wizards Preview

Spurs-Wizards Preview

Spurs-Wizards Preview
Even without one of their top players in the lineup, the San Antonio Spurs are in position to conclude their longest road stretch of the season with a winning record.

The Spurs can achieve that with a sixth straight victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

San Antonio (36-17) is 4-3 while spending all of February on the road, with only the recent All-Star break offering some down time. The Spurs, who are 18-10 away from home, host Dallas on Tuesday.

Regardless of Saturday's result, the road swing can be considered a success for the Spurs, who continue to overcome the loss of top reserve Manu Ginobili.

The seventh-year shooting guard missed the last two games and will be lost for an additional 2-3 weeks with a right ankle injury.

Ginobili, who missed the first 12 games of the season while recovering from left ankle surgery, is third on the team averaging 16.1 points per game.

"We'll handle it the same way we did the last time," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Whoever we've got left is going to play. I can't tell you who will get which minutes - I'm going to do it on the fly."

Popovich still has All-Stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to lead the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference.

Parker had 19 points with 11 assists and Duncan added 18 and 18 rebounds as San Antonio avoided a third straight loss with an 83-79 win at Detroit on Thursday. The Spurs had lost their previous two games at Toronto and New York by a combined seven points.

"This was tough, but we'll take it, because we needed a win," Parker said. "We've lost a couple games that we could have won, so this gives us some confidence to try to finish this in Washington."

The Wizards are one team that has provided San Antonio with plenty of confidence of late.

The Spurs have won the last five games between the teams by an average of 14 points while holding Washington to 86.6 points during that span.

Duncan had 23 points in the Spurs' 85-77 win at Washington on Feb. 6, 2008 in the teams' most recent meeting.

Parker, who missed that contest with a foot injury, is averaging 22.6 points and 7.4 assists in his last seven games against Washington.

Though San Antonio has recently dominated the club with the worst record in the East, Washington (13-42) has played well since the break.

The Wizards look to win three in a row for the first time this season after a 107-96 win at New Jersey on Friday night. Antawn Jamison had 28 points with 12 rebounds as the Wizards outscored the Nets 60-36 in the paint.

"We have guys who can pretty much get it to the paint, and if not create shoots for themselves, then shots for the other guys," Jamison said. "Why not use one of our strengths? For some reason it does not register."

Jamison is averaging 26.7 points and 10.6 boards in his last three games overall, but just 13.7 on 31 percent shooting in his last three against San Antonio.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 21, 2009


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