The San Antonio Spurs can struggle on offense at times. Even the lowly Seattle SuperSonics have been able to hold them in check.

Struggling through their worst offensive slump of the season, the Spurs look to avoid another letdown against the Sonics when the teams conclude their season series Friday night.

With four games remaining in the regular season, San Antonio (53-25) is still in contention for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs, two games behind West-leading New Orleans, are in that position largely because of a scoring defense that ranks third in the league, allowing 90.6 points per game.

San Antonio, though, is scoring just 95.3 points a contest, and can fall into slumps when its offense struggles. The Spurs have been terrible offensively in their last three games, averaging 71.7 points while shooting 39.3 percent from the field en route to a 1-2 record.

San Antonio's troubles follow an eight-game winning streak, when it topped 100 points five times.

"It's turned into a concern because that's three games we really struggled offensively," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said following a 96-79 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night. "The main concern is offensively. We're just not sharp enough. We're not making shots. We're playing too slow. So we've got to work on that."

Ginobili, second on San Antonio with 19.6 points a contest, has averaged 8.7 while shooting 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from the field over his last three games. Ginobili had 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting against Seattle on Jan. 29, but his teammates combined to make 39.6 percent (23-for-58) of their shots in an 88-85 Spurs loss.

It was one of the most embarrassing losses of the season for San Antonio. Seattle (18-61) is last in the West and ranks 27th in the league in scoring defense, giving up 106.4 points per game.

The Spurs will try to avenge that loss with a matchup at home, where they have won five straight against the Sonics since a 102-96 loss on Dec. 8, 2004. San Antonio had won five in a row and 12 of 13 at home overall before losing to Phoenix.

Tim Duncan had a game-high 23 points in that game, and is averaging 26.5 in two contests against Seattle this season. He had 26 points in the Spurs' 116-101 win over the Sonics on Nov. 25.

Seattle has been having its own issues on offense, scoring 84 points or less in four of its last five games. The Sonics have lost 18 of 20, including a 103-80 defeat to Houston on Wednesday night.

"We need to play better defense and execute our offense better," said Seattle star rookie Kevin Durant, who finished with 26 points.

Durant, who appears to be a lock to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors, is averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in two games against San Antonio.

But Seattle's chances in this game appear slim. The Sonics have lost 11 straight and 24 of their last 26 on the road.


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