Spurs should be at full strength against surging Warriors | Radio WGN 720


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The San Antonio Spurs have been at their best this season against the best teams in the NBA. That pattern will be tested again when they host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

The Spurs picked up victories over the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks and – on Dec. 4 – Golden State in San Francisco, but they struggled to win consistently even though they were rarely knocked out. In 51 games, including 32 losses, San Antonio’s total point differential is minus-5.

The Spurs return home from a 115-110 road loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. San Antonio, playing without three of their regular starters, took the league’s best team in the final two minutes before the Suns made the plays in the streak and completed a 12-point comeback in the final quarter.

“There was nobody playing badly,” Spurs manager Gregg Popovich said after the loss. “(We) played together, we were physical, we had good rhythm. (We) played with confidence against a hell of a team. Of course, I want fewer mistakes and I want a win, but it’s hard to ask for more than they gave.

Doug McDermott led the Spurs with 24 points while Lonnie Walker IV added 22, Keldon Johnson hit for 16 points, Tre Jones scored 15 and Joshua Primo contributed 13. San Antonio were outscored 36-19 in the last period.

“We fought, but there’s a lot of things we can learn from (Sunday),” Jones said. “We all felt like we could have won this game. We made mistakes throughout the second half. It’s a learning experience for us.

Spurs played without Dejounte Murray (left knee contusion) and Jakob Poeltl (back pain) as well as Derrick White, who was rested. San Antonio is 4-15 this season with Murray, White and Poeltl not all in the lineup. Sunday’s game was the first time this season that all three players had come out simultaneously. All three are scheduled to play on Tuesday.

The Warriors travel to San Antonio for the second straight road game after a 122-108 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday. Golden State, which has won six straight games, was led by Stephen Curry’s 40 points and Andrew Wiggins’ 23.

“We just try to play it happily,” Curry said. “You can win games in different ways when you have a talented team like ours. And, you know, a lot of guys can step in any night, and it’s fun to play that way.

Klay Thomson added 14 points for Golden State but shot just 1 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc. Rookie Moses Moody tied his career high with 11 points in his second career start. The Warriors shot 53.8% from the floor while holding Houston to just 42.9%.

Golden State played without Draymond Green, who missed his 12th straight game with a back injury, and Otto Porter Jr., sidelined with left foot pain.

The Warriors lead the NBA in opponents scoring, opponents field goal percentage, and opponents 3-point percentage.

San Antonio has won seven of its last 10 games against the Warriors.

–Field level media


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