San Antonio (32 - 11)
Philadelphia (17 - 23)
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD
(AP) -- Even without two of their stars, the San Antonio Spurs took a big step toward putting their road struggles behind them.
After losing seven of nine away from home, the Spurs try to make it two straight road victories and sweep the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
With Tim Duncan given the night off and Manu Ginobili out with a hamstring injury, San Antonio (32-11) won its fourth in a row and 13th in 16 games with a 98-93 victory at Atlanta on Saturday. All three losses in that stretch had come on the road.
While Duncan should be well rested for Monday's contest, the Spurs aren't likely to have Ginobili back for at least another week because of a left hamstring problem. The injury has kept him out the last three games.
Tony Parker has helped fill the void by totaling 48 points and 20 assists in his last two contests, including a 23-point, 12-assist effort against the Hawks.
"He's really fun to watch at both ends of the court," coach Gregg Popovich said. "And he's been doing that all year."
Parker has played well recently against the 76ers, averaging 26.0 points in his last three meetings. He had 37 points to help San Antonio snap a four-game losing streak in Philadelphia with a 100-90 win Feb. 8.
While the 76ers (17-23) have won nine of their last 12 at home, the Spurs have taken three straight overall in the series. Six San Antonio players scored in double figures in a 109-86 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 5.
The Spurs have averaged 98.0 points in their last 10 road games after scoring 107.5 per contest in starting 11-2 away from home. San Antonio, though, will be facing a Philadelphia team that has allowed 104.1 points over its last seven games.
After struggling through a 3-13 stretch, the 76ers will try build on their second win in three games, 108-101 in overtime over Toronto on Friday.
Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 33 and had all 12 of his team's points in the extra period as the 76ers overcame a 19-point second-half deficit.
"Jrue was incredible and carried us in overtime," said forward Thaddeus Young, who added 27 points and 14 rebounds. "It was a gut-check type of performance and he was there for us when we needed it in overtime."
Holiday has scored 12.0 points per game while shooting 36.4 percent in his last three against the Spurs, but he's on a roll heading into this meeting. The fourth-year guard has averaged 30.7 points, 11.3 assists and 54.8 percent from the floor in his past three contests.
With Holiday leading the way, the 76ers have starting to show some life offensively. They've scored 104.7 points a game over this 2-1 stretch after averaging 84.2 during a five-game losing streak.
However, they may have a difficult time continuing that level of production against a San Antonio team that's given up an average of 87.8 points during its four-game win streak.
Last edited by Eddy from Austin; 01-21-13 at 11:16 AM.
Closer game that we think!!!!
Spurs have to stay Focused + Strong + Bring it!
Thank Goodness TD is playing!
TP again proves how valuable he is to the TEAM leading as an MVP!
Spurs TEAM win!
Go Spurs Go!
Last edited by spurscrazed; 01-21-13 at 11:19 AM.
The final should be a blowout but Philly always gives the Spurs problems. The next 6 games before the Rodeo road trip are against sub .500 teams so as Bill Land and Sean Elliott eluded to in their broadcast, the Spurs have an excellent opportunity to pad their record and get back to their winning ways. I foresee a nail biter.
Basketball is not an equal opportunity game. If you can't shoot it well, you don't get to shoot. -- Bob Donewald
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