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Spurs try to avoid third straight loss vs. Kings
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Latest Line: Sacramento +14 O/U: 202
 
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There's not much that will surprise the San Antonio Spurs and the Sacramento Kings about each other when the two teams play for the fourth time this season and the second time in 11 days Sunday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Tex.

San Antonio has won all three of the games this year with the Kings, including on March 8 when the Spurs notched their largest comeback victory under coach Gregg Popovich in overcoming a 28-point deficit to win 114-104 at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio played that contest without Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, who were both resting. Manu Ginobili led the team in scoring as he set a season-best with 19 points.

The Spurs (52-16) head home after a 104-96 loss late Saturday night against the Grizzlies in Memphis, their second consecutive loss and third in five games after winning nine straight and garnering the top record in the league and the Western Conference.

It is just San Antonio's third losing streak of the season; they haven't lost three straight this year.

Leonard had 22 points in the loss to the Grizzlies and Aldridge added 21 points for San Antonio. The Spurs are now 0-2 against Memphis this season and play Memphis twice more in the final 14 games of the regular campaign.

Spurs guard Tony Parker returned to action Saturday night against the Grizzlies after missing the last four games with back stiffness. He was just 2 of 8 from the floor with four points, two rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes of action.

"You have to give them credit, Memphis played great defense and we just didn't make some shots," Parker said. "It wasn't our best performance. We just have to keep battling -- it sounds simple."

Nine of the Spurs' final 14 games are at home, but those games are against teams like Memphis (twice), the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers.

"You've got some teams fighting for everything, some teams with no big responsibilities and playing freely, so everything is complicated at this point," Ginobili said. "We can't relax. There's no team in the league that's going to just let you get a win. You have to go after it every game."

The Kings head to the Alamo City off a 110-94 loss on Saturday to the surging Oklahoma City Thunder. The defeat snapped Sacramento's modest two-game winning streak.

Georgios Papagiannis had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento while Skal Labissiere added 13 points and Buddy Hield scored 11 points as the Kings dropped to 27-42.

Papagiannis has accepted the unenviable task of taking over for the traded DeMarcus Cousins and is making the most of his learning-on-the-job opportunity.

"Every game and every practice I am trying to get used to the players because most of the time I had been in Reno and everything works right now," Papagiannis said after the loss. "I'm in a rhythm right now."

The Kings had five players in double figures against Oklahoma City but most of that damage was done in garbage time after Sacramento trailed by 22 points at halftime.

"It's hard to come back on a great team like that," Hield said of Oklahoma City. "They have been playing together for a while. We are a young team, so we just have to keep learning from these losses and keep getting better."

 


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