NBA Basketball

111
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Antonio 32 36 21 22 111
New York 16 27 28 33 104
104
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT22:30 , November 23, 2019
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York  Attendance: 19,320

Slumping Spurs aim to stop skid vs. Knicks

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks

  1. The Spurs have won seven of their last 10 against the Knicks, including a 120-111 season-opening win on Oct. 23. New York had 16 steals in that game; the Knicks haven't had more steals in a single contest since they had 17 against the Pistons on March 7, 1994.
  2. New York leads the league in second-chance points, averaging 17.2 per game. Only one team in the last 20 seasons has finished a season averaging at least 17.0 second-chance points per game (17.3, 2002-03 GS).
  3. Mitchell Robinson has 22 blocks in 202 minutes this season, for a league-high 5.23 blocked shots per 48 minutes. Combined with last season's 5.68 blocks per 48, Robinson is the NBA's active leader with 5.63 blocked shots per 48 among players with at least 50 games played.
  4. The Knicks are the top offensive rebounding team in the NBA, averaging 12.9 per game, while the Spurs are second best at 11.7 per game. Last season, New York pulled down 10.5 offensive rebounds per game, 13th in the league, and San Antonio was 27th with 9.2 per game.

The San Antonio Spurs have lost eight straight games for the first time since 1996-97, a skid that actually predated Gregg Popovich as the team's head coach.

The Spurs aim to put a stop to their losing ways on Saturday when they conclude their four-game road trip against the New York Knicks.

DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points and Rudy Gay recorded 17 of his 22 points in the first half on Friday as San Antonio dropped a 115-104 decision in Philadelphia.

DeRozan has scored 96 points on 35-of-56 shooting from the floor over his last three games for the Spurs, who have struggled to overcome sluggish starts this season.

"It's the story of our season thus far. It's really tough starts and then having to claw our way back in games. It's tough to do, especially on the road," Popovich said. "... We're just trying to not make as many mistakes, mostly at the defensive end. It always puts us in a bad way. We're working at it."

Unfortunately for Popovich and company, if they don't find a solution relatively fast, their string of 22 consecutive postseason berths will come to an end. That mark serves as the longest active streak in North American professional sports.

New York coach David Fizdale is keeping his guard up against San Antonio, and for good reason.

"Wounded animal and those are the most dangerous," Fizdale said, per Newsday. "They're still the Spurs to us. I don't think we have that luxury to look at any team any other way but with respect."

Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. agreed.

"It's crazy. Thinking about it, hearing it," Smith Jr. said of the Spurs' skid. "It's actually hard to believe. But you know, it happens. It happens to the best of them. We're just worried about getting our win versus them (on Saturday) and that's what's important."

If one is looking for positives for San Antonio, well, it posted the seventh win in its last 10 encounters with New York in a 120-111 season-opening victory on Oct. 23.

Marcus Morris scored 26 points in that contest, all the while getting booed by Spurs fans at AT&T Center after he backed out of a verbal agreement with the team to sign with the Knicks in July.

Morris highlighted his 22-point, 13-rebound performance with four 3-pointers in Wednesday's 109-104 setback to the 76ers.

Taj Gibson has provided a jolt with his offense and has served as a mentor to Mitchell Robinson since signing a one-year, $10 million deal in the offseason.

"He does give that starting lineup a sense of stability," Fizdale said of the 34-year-old Gibson. "He's also been fantastic for Mitch. That relationship has been worthwhile."

Gibson said he has no issues keeping the seat warm for Robinson, New York's second-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

"I'm doing what the team needs and it's needed now (starting), but it's Mitch's seat," Gibson told The New York Post. "I'm just keeping it warm for him. I work out with him every day. Just trying to get him better every day. I'm doing what the team needs and being the veteran."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 23, 2019

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