The San Antonio Spurs are trying to avoid their first
consecutive losses of the season. They should have a good chance to
do it against an Atlanta Hawks team they’ve dominated over the
The Spurs look to bounce back from their first home loss when
they go for their 16th straight victory over the Hawks in San
Antonio on Monday night.
This game also marks the return of Atlanta first-year coach Mike
Budenholzer to San Antonio, where he spent nearly 20 years as a
video coordinator and assistant coach.
After winning their first seven home games, the Spurs (14-3)
trailed by 23 before coming back to take a late three-point lead
against Houston on Saturday. The Rockets, however, scored the final
nine points in a 112-106 win.
Tony Parker returned from a one-game absence because of an ankle
injury and finished with a season-high 27 points. Tim Duncan had 20
and Marco Belinelli added 18 with four 3-pointers for San Antonio,
which has dropped two of three.
The Spurs will try to get back on track defensively after
allowing a season-high point total at home. They had given up an
average of 89.3 in their previous seven in San Antonio.
“It’s a great lesson for us,” coach Gregg Popovich said. ”When
you play a good basketball team, you’ve got to come with passion,
an edge and aggressiveness for 48 minutes – and we did that for a
Parker appeared to be fine after missing Friday’s 109-91 win at
Orlando, hitting 13 of 27 from the field. The five-time All-Star,
though, has averaged just 12.6 points and 40.9 percent shooting in
his last five home games against the Hawks (9-9). He missed the
most recent meeting April 6 because of a neck injury.
Duncan led the way with 31 points and 14 rebounds in that
contest, while Kawhi Leonard scored 23 in the 99-97 home win.
Duncan has never lost to the Hawks at home in 14 career
Atlanta seeks its first win in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997,
having lost the last 15 visits by an average of 17.5 points. The
Hawks have averaged 85.7 points and 41.5 percent shooting during
that skid, and they’re slumping heading into this matchup.
Since scoring 101.8 per game and shooting 47.3 percent during an
8-5 start, they’ve averaged 90.4 and 41.8 while dropping four of
Atlanta cut an 18-point, third-quarter deficit to 81-79 with
9:42 left before falling 108-101 in Washington on Saturday. Paul
Millsap had 23 points and 10 rebounds while Al Horford scored 16
and Jeff Teague added 15.
“We’re trying to find ourselves as a team, trying to put it
together,” said Horford, who has missed two of the last three
meetings with the Spurs due to injury. “Hopefully we can get it
going. I think we will.”
Teague, averaging a team-high 17.3 points, has scored 11.5 and
shot 30.2 percent in his last four road games. He finished with six
points while going 3 of 11 in last season’s loss in San
Backcourt mate Kyle Korver may not be able to play after missing
the past three games with a bruised rib. He has made at least one
3-pointer in 88 consecutive games, one shy of Dana Barros’ all-time