Devin Harris has had mixed results against the San Antonio Spurs since joining the league in 2004. The New Jersey Nets would gladly settle for mixed results against the Spurs.
Harris, who has played well in his first two games with New Jersey, looks to help the Nets avoid an 11th straight loss to the surging Spurs when the teams conclude a home-and-home series Tuesday night.
Harris played in 12 games against San Antonio while with Dallas, helping the Mavericks earn wins in six of those contests. The fourth-year point guard played against the Spurs (41-17) for the first time as a member of the Nets (26-33) on Sunday night, finishing with 21 points in a 93-83 New Jersey loss.
It was the Nets' 10th straight loss to the Spurs since a 91-82 win on Nov. 13, 2002. San Antonio, which has also won nine straight games overall, has held New Jersey under 90 points eight times during that run.
Sunday's game was Harris' second with the Nets since being acquired Feb. 19 in an eight-player trade that sent Jason Kidd to Dallas. He was nursing a sprained left ankle when the deal was made.
Harris has scored 21 points in each of his two games with New Jersey, but his effort against the Spurs wasn't enough to help the Nets avoid one of their worst offensive games of the season. The Nets, trying to hold on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, shot 34.6 percent (27-for-78) from the field.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has seen enough of Harris over the years to know the Nets have picked up an outstanding young player.
"He's a young, dynamic kid who's got a lot of energy," Popovich said. "He's just going to get better and better. He's a hell of a talent."
San Antonio has its own dynamic point guard in Tony Parker, who made sure the Spurs' season-best winning streak remained intact by making two clutch fourth-quarter baskets in the first game of this series. Parker finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Since Parker joined the team in 2001, San Antonio is 5-0 at home against New Jersey.
"He finishes games nicely, making shots in the fourth quarter that he's not making in the first half," said Harris, who matched up with Parker often in the Western Conference. "That's what makes him so tough. You've got to remember that he was an NBA finals MVP and he knows how to finish."
Parker helped San Antonio sweep Cleveland in last year's NBA finals. The Spurs won 13 straight around this time last year before making their playoff run, and their current streak is their longest since then.
San Antonio leads the West with a .707 winning percentage, just ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.
"The race in the West is very tight," Parker said. "You can't afford too many tough losses ... against teams that you should win against."
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