The San Antonio Spurs haven't played well away from home this season, but their upcoming road trip may give them the opportunity to turn their record outside the AT&T Center around.
The Spurs try to win their 13th straight over the Los Angeles Clippers when the teams meet Sunday night at Staples Center.
San Antonio (11-9) played 14 of its first 20 games at home, not going on the road for more than two games in a single trip. The Spurs, who are 1-5 away from home, will face two teams with losing records during this three-game stretch, including the Clippers (9-12), whom they've beaten 12 straight times.
San Antonio will also face Golden State, which has the worst record in the Pacific Division. In between, it will take on Phoenix.
"If we come back here and build on that, we'll feel good about ourselves," forward Tim Duncan said. "Those are some very winnable games for us."
The Spurs have struggled offensively on the road, scoring 95 points or fewer four times, but they are coming off their best shooting game of the season in a 104-85 win over Charlotte on Friday. San Antonio shot 59.1 percent and went 10 of 17 from 3-point range.
Manu Ginobili scored 22 points - 20 in the first half - while Duncan had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
It was the second consecutive win for San Antonio after three straight losses. Richard Jefferson has played a big factor in the two victories, averaging 20.0 points while shooting 60.7 percent after scoring a total of 23 points while shooting 35.7 percent during the losing streak.
Jefferson has averaged 22.5 points in his last four games against the Clippers.
Los Angeles continues its six-game homestand after splitting the first four. The Clippers, averaging 89.3 points over those four contests, lost 97-86 to Orlando on Tuesday.
Eric Gordon scored 21 and Baron Davis had 18 points and 11 assists.
Chris Kaman, who leads Los Angeles with 18.7 points per game, finished with 16 on 8-for-22 shooting. He's averaging 12.5 points and shooting 35.6 percent over the last four games.
"Obviously the big difference in the game was shooting ability," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "They shot the ball really well and made us pay for our mistakes."
The Clippers have beaten just two teams with winning records, going 2-7. After Sunday, though, their next four opponents have losing records.
Despite the defeat on Tuesday, Los Angeles still has won five of eight. During that stretch, the Clippers are yielding 90.9 points and forcing 16.4 turnovers per game.
They'll look to carry over that defensive effort into Sunday. In the four losses last season to the Spurs, Los Angeles allowed 102.3 points per game.
San Antonio has outscored the Clippers by 14.6 points during the 12-game win streak.
Los Angeles' last win against the Spurs was 98-85 at Staples Center on March 3, 2006.
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Dec 13, 2009
San Antonio @ L.A. Clippers--Dick Bavetta, Mark Ayotte, Tony Brothers
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“I asked them if it wasn't too much trouble, if I wasn't being too pushy, if they could execute what we were trying to do. And if it didn't make them too angry, if they also wanted to play some defense on the other end, that would be great.”
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