Warriors, Spurs Clash for Second Time This Season
Posted Dec 4 2006 10:38AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The Golden State Warriors ended the San Antonio Spurs' perfect road start a week ago.
The Spurs will look to avenge that loss when the Warriors visit the AT&T Center on Monday to begin a tough December stretch.
Golden State beat San Antonio 111-102 last Monday, ending the Spurs' franchise-best 7-0 start away from home. The Spurs, whose 12 wins ties them with Southwest Division-leading Dallas for second-most in the Western Conference, are only 5-3 at home after beating Sacramento 100-98 on Saturday night.
``It was an ugly win and we'll take it,'' said Tony Parker, who also had five of the Spurs' 18 turnovers. ``But we definitely need to go back (and) do some more practice and try to play better.''
The Spurs (12-5) have traditionally been one of the league's best home teams. In 2004-05, they posted the best home mark in franchise history when they went 38-3, but slumped to 34-7 there last season.
Golden State (9-8) has lost 17 straight against the Spurs in San Antonio since the 1997-98 season, and have dropped 30 of the past 35 meetings between the teams. Last week's victory over the Spurs was the Warriors' first in eight games overall against them.
San Antonio hopes to continue their momentum at home after barely getting past the Kings.
``It's about doing whatever you can to get victories,'' said Bruce Bowen, who scored a season-high 23 points Saturday. ``When the ball is moving for us we get guys open shots and that's what we want.''
Perhaps the return of Manu Ginobili will make things easier. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said he thinks Ginobili - who's missed the last four games with a bruised back - will be back for Monday's contest. Ginobili is third on the Spurs in scoring at 13.8 points per game behind Parker (19.8 ppg) and Tim Duncan (22.4 ppg).
That's not good news for Golden State, which has lost five of its past seven games and now faces a tough schedule. The Warriors started 7-3 in coach Don Nelson's return to the Bay Area.
However, Golden State has allowed at least 100 points in six of its last seven games and has lost two in a row as it faces a difficult back-to-back set of games. Following this contest, Golden State will ply in Houston on Tuesday where they've dropped four of five.
``We need to play with the intensity and energy that we have had in the past, and that needs to change,'' said the Warriors' Baron Davis. ``Overall, throughout the course of the game, we let teams hang around and stay close.
``That's what we want to do on the road, hang around, stay close and give ourselves a chance.''
Including their Texas swing, the Warriors play nine of their next 12 games on the road which features a season-high six-game trip from Dec. 15-23 with stops in New Jersey, Orlando and Miami.
Nelson is still looking to become the second coach in league history with 1,200 wins after Golden State lost 108-106 on a last-second 3-pointer to Indiana on Wednesday, and was held scoreless for the final 2:54 in a 115-110 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday.
``It's kind of tough, we wanted to win it,'' Warriors guard Anthony Roberson said of Saturday's loss. ``Coming in, we knew it was going to be a big one as we head out on the road. We just have to stick together because on the road all we have is us.
``Right now, the most important thing is road wins. We need to get over this and move on.''
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