SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost at home to the Brooklyn Nets since George W. Bush’s second year in office.
Something will have to change, and do so in a big way, for the Nets to break that 14-game streak when the two teams play on Tuesday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The Spurs (23-11) head home after beating Sacramento 108-99 on Saturday to earn their second win of a three-game road trip that began with a victory in Portland and continued with a loss in Utah.
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In the win over the Kings Saturday, San Antonio got 29 points and 20 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge and a triple-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists from Pau Gasol as the Spurs went, and stayed, big with forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Danny Green nursing injuries.
Aldridge has led the Spurs in scoring 28 times this season and has scored in double digits in 37 consecutive games. His longest such streak a season ago was 23.
Gasol said the move to emphasize the play in the paint was actually a response to Sacramento’s attempt to control the game with its frontcourt.
Instead, the strategy played right into the Spurs’ hands and strengths.
“That was nice, refreshing even,” Gasol said after notching his 10th career triple-double and his first in his two seasons with the Spurs. “It’s always nice when a team stays big. It helps us stay big as well.”
San Antonio hardly missed Leonard (who has missed 30 games this season with a quad injury) or Green.
The Spurs made 50 percent of their shots from the field, sank 11 of 23 tries from 3-point territory, had 29 assists on 44 made shots, and committed only eight turnovers.
Leonard has played only four of San Antonio’s 34 games this season and already is assured of playing in the fewest games of his seven-season career. He has averaged 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in about 17 minutes per game in those four contests.
Both Leonard and Green are listed as probable by the team for Tuesday’s game against Brooklyn.
Brooklyn heads to the Alamo City on the heels of a 123-119 overtime loss at Indiana on Saturday, the Nets fourth loss in their past five games. After producing a lopsided home win over the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn blew a 19-point.
Spencer Dinwiddie led Brooklyn (12-20) with 26 points and eight assists. Dinwiddie has recorded at least six assists in 14 consecutive games, the fourth-longest such streak in the league behind only LeBron James (15), Chris Paul (15) and James Harden (22).
DeMarre Carroll added 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, helping Brooklyn outrebound the Pacers, 51-41. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds despite shooting 7 of 18 from the field.
“To have a chance to win at the end on the road showed that we gave good effort overall,” Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said Saturday after the first of a five-game road trip for the Nets that ends Dec. 31 at Boston.
Brooklyn’s past two games showed an improvement over its season-high four-game skid that preceded the last week. After their win over Washington the Nets largely outplayed the Pacers on the road before finally falling in overtime Saturday.
“It’s good for us to take a break,” Carroll said. “We’re a young team and we’re trying to be a really good team. So we’ve got to know that coming out and be the more aggressive team right out of the Christmas break. Hopefully we can and win a couple more games.
“We know what it takes to compete at a high level. We’re doing all the little things, guys are cheering, we’ve got more energy, more mojo, so hopefully we’ll continue this after the Christmas break and continue to get better.”
San Antonio won both games against the Nets last season, earned victories in its past four meetings with Brooklyn and have an all-time record of 68-21 versus the New York-New Jersey-Brooklyn Nets.