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News » Wizards-Spurs Preview

Wizards-Spurs Preview

Wizards-Spurs Preview
The struggling San Antonio Spurs are slowly getting healthier, and they may be adding another important piece as they move toward a 12th straight playoff appearance.

Playing eight of their next 10 games at home likely won't hurt, either.

The Spurs will have a good opportunity to avoid a fourth loss in their last five games when they open a four-game homestand Friday night against the woeful Washington Wizards, a team San Antonio dominated on the road less than two weeks ago.

With Tim Duncan missing time with a sore knee last month and Manu Ginobili remaining out with an ankle problem, the Spurs (40-20) have struggled to put out a consistent lineup lately as they try to hang onto second place in the Western Conference.

Wednesday's 107-102 loss at Dallas was their third in the last four games, even though Duncan had 19 points and 12 rebounds in his third game back. He still blamed himself for the loss after shooting 7-of-21 from the field.

"I put it on my shoulders," Duncan said. "I really played an awful game on both ends. I've got to clean that up."

While Tony Parker had 37 points and Roger Mason added 23, San Antonio's bench managed to score a season-low seven.

Help appears to be on the way for the Spurs. Ginobili, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, is working his way back and the Spurs also appear to be on the verge of signing forward Drew Gooden.

"(Ginobili) was out for a week with a boot, came out of the boot and they told us two to three weeks. (Thursday) will be two weeks. In that sense we're getting closer," coach Gregg Popovich said.

"I'm in a no-comment mood on any additions to our team, not specifically (Gooden)," the coach added.

Gooden averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 31 games with Chicago this season before he was traded to Sacramento at the deadline. He played just one game for the Kings before being waived, and the Spurs released forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu this week to open up a roster spot.

It's unclear if either player will be in uniform Friday, but San Antonio probably won't need much help against Washington.

Not only have the Spurs won 15 of their last 18 home games going into their longest homestand so far this season, but the Wizards (14-47) stumble into San Antonio on another three-game losing streak.

In last place in the East, Washington has dropped five of six overall, starting with an ugly 98-67 home loss to the Spurs on Feb. 21. The Wizards' point total was their lowest since a 79-65 loss at New Jersey on Dec. 13, 2002, while Mason scored 25 points for San Antonio in his first game against his former team.

That was the Spurs' sixth straight win in the series, while Washington has lost its last eight in San Antonio.

The Wizards continued to sputter offensively in an 88-83 loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night against a Thunder team playing without leading scorers Kevin Durant and Jeff Green.

Washington was without an injured Caron Butler, leaving Antawn Jamison as its only active player averaging more than 10.3 points.

"We didn't move around properly on the offensive end," Jamison said. "... They had some of their studs out tonight and we thought if we brought the effort we would come out with a win."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 5, 2009


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