NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 5th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (15-19) at San Antonio Spurs (26-9), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs are treating Thursday's loss as nothing more than a bump in the road.
After having their longest winning streak of the season halted, the Spurs hope to rebound on Saturday night and continue their home dominance of the Philadelphia 76ers.
San Antonio averaged 111.7 points per contest over a seven-game winning streak that came to an end on Thursday against the New York Knicks. The Spurs shot just 36.4 percent from the floor and only hit 9-of-34 from 3-point range in a 100-83 setback.
The Spurs were outscored 44-31 over the final 17 minutes of the game.
"I thought New York's defense was great tonight. They came out in the third quarter and made shots. We were a little low on fuel," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They played well and they kicked our butt."
Gary Neal paced San Antonio with 12 points, while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan had 11 points each.
It was the club's first loss since Dec. 18 and Duncan seemed confused when asked after the game what his club needed to do to turn things around.
"Turn what around? We lost a game in the middle of the season. It happens," said Duncan. "We move on to the next game, hopefully get our legs back underneath us and move on."
Forward Stephen Jackson had his leg taken out from under him versus the Knicks and injured his right ankle after tripping over a courtside waitress late in the first quarter. He did not return to the game.
The Spurs have still won nine straight at home and are 13-2 as the hosting club this season. That doesn't bode well for a 76ers team that has lost eight straight and 24 of their last 25 in San Antonio.
Philadelphia hasn't won in San Antonio since Jan. 3, 2004 and its last win there prior to that came on Jan. 6, 1986.
The Sixers are ending a season-long eight-game road trip. They are 2-5 thus far after a 109-85 loss Friday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game that was competitive through the first half. The Thunder won the third quarter, 32-24, then the fourth 31-19.
"Thought we played a very competitive first half," said head coach Doug Collins. "Turnovers, offensive rebounds, but the turnovers, they had 24 points off our turnovers."
The Sixers were one of the best teams in the NBA in taking care of the ball. In their last two losses, Philly has committed 17 and 20 turnovers.
Friday was a particularly tough night on Evan Turner. He had five points on 2- for-7 shooting and committed six turnovers.
The Sixers shot just eight free throws on Friday and all eight came from Nick Young.
"We have to be stronger and make them foul us," said Collins. "I'm not saying that has anything to do with the whistle."
01/05 11:04:21 ET