Tue, Dec 31 Nets-Spurs Preview
6:00 PM TV:FSN
AT&T Center - San Antonio, Texas
By ALAN FERGUSON, Associated Press
While their star point guard will try to put a controversy behind him, the San Antonio Spurs will seek to continue their dominance over the Brooklyn Nets.
Tony Parker and the Spurs will look to begin getting more consistent results at home by sending the Nets to a season high-tying fourth straight road loss Tuesday night.
Parker apologized Monday for a photograph that recently surfaced showing him making a gesture that's considered anti-Semitic. The picture showed Parker and French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala doing a "quenelle," which some describe as inverted Nazi salute.
Parker said via a statement that the photograph was taken three years ago. English Premier League soccer player Nicolas Anelka used the quenelle to celebrate a goal for West Bromich Albion on Saturday.
"While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it," Parker said. "Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt."
Parker will seek to move on by helping the Spurs earn their 24th win in 27 games against the Nets, including the 2003 NBA finals. San Antonio has won the past five meetings by an average of 19.4 points.
The Spurs (24-7) enter this matchup having won nine of 12 while Brooklyn (10-20) has dropped five of six. Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan combined for San Antonio's final 21 points in a 112-104 win over Sacramento on Sunday.
Ginobili finished with a season-high 28 points, and Parker had 22. The victory pushed San Antonio to 4-4 in its last eight home games, and the Spurs have alternated losses and wins over that stretch.
"We've got to keep working on it and try to go where we want to be," Ginobili said. "We're still just 31 games into the season. It's early. The tough part is we started really well but went back a little bit."
Brooklyn opened a difficult three-game trip with a 105-91 loss to Indiana on Saturday. The Nets held the Pacers to 19 points in the final quarter but scored just 15 and finished with 35 in the second half. They were also outrebounded 41-28.
"We just have to figure it out," said forward Mirza Teletovic, who had 17 points in his fifth start in seven games. "I think one day it will come together."
Nets coach Jason Kidd has tried to find the right starting lineup with Brook Lopez out for the season due to a broken foot. Kevin Garnett has moved into Lopez's spot at center, and Joe Johnson has played at forward and guard in the last four games.
Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston have gotten starts along with Teletovic.
"I need everyone to be better, both offensively and defensively," said Kidd, who was on the 2003 Nets team that lost to San Antonio. "We can only do it as a team. It's not going to be just one person."
The Nets are facing teams that are a combined 73-17 on the trip, which ends Thursday against Oklahoma City. On this stop, they might focus more on limiting Parker, who averaged 24.5 points on 61.8 percent shooting and 8.5 assists in last season's two meetings.