NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (22-43) at San Antonio Spurs (48-16), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will take an eight-game winning streak into Friday's matchup against the floundering Los Angeles Lakers at AT&T Center.
The Spurs haven't lost since Feb. 21 in Phoenix. San Antonio has taken seven in a row as the host and it has moved into first place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs' most recent victory came Wednesday night, at home, against the Portland Trail Blazers. San Antonio emerged with a 103-90 victory thanks to a balanced scoring night.
Patty Mills led the way with 15 off the bench, followed by 14 from Danny Green, 13 from Manu Ginobili, 12 apiece out of Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter and 10 from Tim Duncan.
Duncan pulled down 11 rebounds, while Splitter grabbed 10. Leonard was rebound shy of a double-double himself.
"I thought the defense was good," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We played physically, we moved the ball well, got a lot of people to play. I think we're staying pretty fresh."
Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili tied Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers for second all-time for wins as a trio (490) and third for games played (663).
"One does have to stop and really think about what it's meant to our program," said Popovich. "It doesn't happen that often in our league. We all probably need to appreciate it more around here."
The Spurs will host the Utah Jazz on Sunday, then head west for three games.
It has been a tough couple of days for the Lakers. After a spectacular home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday at home, L.A. got clobbered in OKC Thursday night, 131-102.
The Lakers, losers in seven of their last 10 games, will go the remainder of the season without Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash. Bryant, who played in six games this season, is out due to a balky knee and Nash, who has appeared in just 10 games this season, is sidelined because of a back issue.
"We knew they were going to be ready, especially here at home," Lakers center Pau Gasol said. "They're playing for trying to get the best record in the league, we're not. They're situation is just a tiny bit different than ours."
Jodie Meeks led the way for the Lakers against the Thunder with 19 points. Kent Bazemore added 16 off the bench and Gasol chipped in 14 points for a Lakers team that allowed Oklahoma City to shoot 50.6 percent.
Jordan Farmar supplied 13 points, followed by 12 from Ryan Kelly and 10 out of Wesley Johnson.
The Spurs beat the Lakers by six in L.A. on Nov. 1 and have taken five of the last seven meetings. The two teams have split the last six matchups in Alamo City.
03/14 10:20:50 ET