Spurs beat Wizards for the 17th straight time
Cory Joseph had 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Washington’s fast start to beat the Wizards for the 17th straight time, 101-92 on Saturday night.
San Antonio has won 14 straight games at home over Washington, but this was among the more unexpected.
With Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard injured and Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili struggling, the Spurs turned to the role players that helped them win a championship last season.
Tiago Splitter scored 16 points, Patty Mills had 15 and Boris Diaw added 14 for San Antonio, which shot just 4 for 16 on 3-pointers. Ginobili had five points, and Duncan four.
After shooting 60 percent in the first half, Washington scored only four points in the final 5 1/2 minutes. Bradley Beal’s 3-pointer had pulled the Wizards to 91-88, but they went more than 4 minutes without scoring afterward that.
Beal and John Wall led the Wizards with 15 points each. Marcin Gortat and Nene had 12 apiece.
Wizards: Washington’s last victory over San Antonio was Nov. 12, 2005, and their previous win in San Antonio was Dec. 11, 1999. … After verifying on replay that Joseph was shooting a 3-pointer when he was fouled by Andre Miller, official Joey Crawford smiled and said, "I was doubted." … The Wizards averaged 102.6 points while going 12-4 in December.
Spurs: San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich substituted his entire lineup three times, using the hockey-style line change for the third time in two weeks. He first employed the strategy Dec. 19 against Memphis following San Antonio’s triple overtime loss to Portland and did so again Dec. 31 against New Orleans on the second night of a back-to-back.