SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs bounce back from losses as well as any team in the NBA and are showing off just how dominant they can be in back-to-back wins following an overtime setback at Atlanta last weekend.
The Spurs will try to make it three straight wins when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.
San Antonio suffered a 106-101 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 22 and responded by winning its next four games by an average of 19 points and is responding to the loss in Atlanta by taking the last two - over Toronto and at Denver - by 28 points apiece. The Spurs shot 56.7 percent from the floor, including 12-of-24 from 3-point range, in a 127-99 thrashing of the Nuggets on Thursday and totaled 34 assists.
The Hornets are not quite at the top of their game and dropped three of the last four after beginning the five-game road trip with a 115-114 setback at Detroit on Thursday.
“The bottom line is that if we want to be the team that I think we can be, you got to win tonight," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford told reporters after the loss to the Pistons. "We just aren’t where, to me, where we need to be. You have to come in here - this is a tough place to play - you got to win the game. We had very little defensive readiness to start and we got to get better bench play."
TV: 7:30 p.m. CT, FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE HORNETS (20-17): Charlotte was playing the second night of a back-to-back on Thursday and did not have enough in the tank to overcome a 19-point, fourth-quarter deficit despite the efforts of star guard Kemba Walker. The Connecticut product scored 20 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and tried to put his team on his back in each of the last three losses, averaging 34.3 points while going 38-of-66 from the floor in those setbacks. Walker and the Hornets could use some improvement on the defensive end after yielding at least 112 points in each of the last four contests.
ABOUT THE SPURS (29-7): San Antonio is getting strong play from veteran point guard Tony Parker, who recorded a season-high eight assists in the win over Toronto and topped it with nine at Denver despite averaging just 23 minutes in the two contests. Parker went a combined 16-of-20 from the field in the wins and is averaging 19.2 points on 62.3 percent shooting in the last five games. Parker is getting plenty of support from power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 24.3 points on 70.9 percent shooting in the last six contests.
1. Hornets SG Nicolas Batum (knee) left Thursday's game and is day-to-day.
2. Spurs SG Danny Green buried multiple 3-pointers in each of the last six games.
3. San Antonio picked up a 119-114 win at Charlotte on Nov. 23 behind 30 points from Kawhi Leonard and 23 from Aldridge.