Spurs @ Warriors Preview: 2/22/13
After making a big statement in their latest win, it's hard to believe the San Antonio Spurs ever had trouble winning on the road.
They certainly haven't had any difficulty beating the Golden State Warriors, regardless of the venue.
The Spurs seek their 17th win in 18 games overall and 17th straight against the Warriors on Friday night when the teams meet in Oakland.
NBA-best San Antonio (44-12) dropped seven of nine on the road from Dec. 12 - Jan. 11 before turning things around over the past month.
Now, they have the league's best road mark at 22-10 and have won nine of their last 10 away from home. Their latest victory may have been the most impressive. In a matchup featuring two of the top three teams in the Western Conference, the Spurs cruised to a 116-90 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. They led all the way and shot 58.9 percent from the field, matching a season high.
"It's only one game. It doesn't mean anything," guard Tony Parker said. "You have to look at the big picture. We want to win a championship."
Parker continued his recent tear with 31 points and seven assists without a turnover as the Spurs won their fifth straight. Parker has averaged 29.3 points in his last six games.
He also had 25 points and eight assists in a 95-88 win on Jan. 18, the team's 28th straight at home over the Warriors. Tim Duncan had 24 points and 10 rebounds in that meeting, and Tiago Splitter added 19 and 9, respectively.
While it's difficult to tell who coach Gregg Popovich might rest on the second game on back-to-back nights, San Antonio will try to improve to 7-1 on its rodeo trip with one more at Phoenix on Sunday. Kawhi Leonard, though, may not able to go after being held out Thursday because of soreness in his left knee.
The Spurs seek to continue their dominance over a Golden State team they've beaten 16 straight times by an average of 15.9 points dating back to the 2007-08 season. They had reached 100 points in 16 consecutive games against the Warriors before that streak was snapped in the last meeting.
The Warriors (31-23) gave up 117.5 points per game during their season-high six-game losing streak before finally putting an end to that slide with a 108-98 win over Phoenix on Wednesday.
Klay Thompson had 28 points, Stephen Curry added 20 and 11 assists and David Lee finished with 19 and 11 boards in the Warriors' first victory in almost three weeks.
"That's too long to go in between wins," Curry said. "Hopefully, that's the last little slide we go on this year."
While Curry missed the first meeting with the Spurs because of a sprained ankle, he heads into this contest averaging 25.3 points on 52.6 percent shooting in his last three games.
Lee carried the load with 22 points and seven rebounds, and Thompson added 21 points in last month's loss at San Antonio.
Golden State didn't get much help at the trade deadline, sending forward Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta and guard Charles Jenkins to Philadelphia along with cash considerations in separate deals to get under the league's luxury tax. The Warriors received a protected second-round pick from Philadelphia and future draft considerations from Atlanta.
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