Manu Ginobili is proving to be healthy for the San Antonio Spurs, who continue to thrive. The Philadelphia 76ers' roster, meanwhile, is far from whole and it's reflected in their current skid.

Ginobili and the Spurs seek their fifth straight home win Saturday night when they face the turmoil-ridden 76ers, who may again be without Chris Webber.

San Antonio (18-6) defeated New Orleans 103-77 Thursday night. Ginobili continued his strong return from a lower back contusion that caused him to miss four games in late November, scoring 24 points to lead the Spurs.

Ginobili, who is averaging 14.9 points per game, is wearing a pad strapped to his back.

``Now I'm feeling good. Shots are falling that always helps,'' Ginobili said. ``I'm wearing the pad because I'm a little worried. I don't want to get hit there again. It's more prevention than I really need it, but I feel more comfortable. Sometimes when I draw a charge I feel more comfortable when I land, so I'm going to wear it for a while.''

The Spurs have won three straight games and seven of eight. They haven't lost at home since losing 95-92 to Dallas on Nov. 24. San Antonio is 8-3 at AT&T Center, outscoring opponents by an average margin of 11.0 points there.

Guard Tony Parker had 19 points against the Hornets, and is averaging 21.0 in his last four games after averaging just 11.0 in his previous three contests.

Already without Allen Iverson, Philadelphia (5-17) played without starting forward Chris Webber in a 93-79 loss at Dallas on Friday night.

It was the 76ers' 10th straight defeat, their longest losing streak since dropping 13 in a row from Dec. 28, 1996-Jan. 20, 1997.

``I don't know how many games we've lost. ... I'm not even thinking about that,'' 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. ``I like our effort.''

Webber didn't play because of a sprained right ankle sustained in Wednesday night's loss to Boston.

He missed practice Thursday and Friday morning's shootaround, although he did some shooting on the court before the game. Kyle Korver started in his place and had 13 points.

Philadelphia's last five losses have come since Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP and the face of the franchise for 11 seasons, demanded a trade and the 76ers sent him home while trying to accommodate his request.

Philadelphia has also lost nine straight road games since a 96-90 win over Seattle on Nov. 15. The last time the 76ers lost nine in a row on the road was also in Iverson's 1996-97 rookie season, part of their 13-game losing streak.

Philadelphia is 2-11 on the season away from the Wachovia Center.

San Antonio and Philadelphia each won a game at home in last season's interconference series.


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