Bobcats take four-game winning streak into San Antonio
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will resume their three-game homestand when the Charlotte Bobcats visit the Alamo City Friday night.
The Spurs played their first game at home following their annual Rodeo trip (6-3) and disposed of the Detroit Pistons 120-110 on Wednesday. It was their first game in front of the AT&T Center faithful since Feb. 1.
Marco Belinelli led eight players in double-digit scoring with 20 points, while Manu Ginobili added 16 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who made 53.7 percent from the field and improved to 8-3 in the last 11 games overall.
Kawhi Leonard returned to action after suffering a broken finger to post 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Leonard was out since Jan. 22.
"It worked out well. Our team got the win tonight and I got to play. I just tried to enjoy because sitting on a bench isn't fun," Leonard said.
Tim Duncan (13), Tiago Splitter (13), Boris Diaw (12), Patty Mills (11) and Cory Joseph (10) rounded out the double-digit scoring. Tony Parker missed another game and is dealing with a litany of injuries. Parker has missed the past five games (4-1) and is averaging 17.7 points and 6.2 assists.
San Antonio is 1 1/2 games behind Oklahoma City for the West's top seed and will close the homestand Sunday versus Dallas. It is 19-8 at home.
Charlotte has won a season-high four straight games and will start a grueling three-game road trip Friday against San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami.
The well-rested Bobcats made it four straight wins and five in the last six tries with last Saturday's 92-89 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies, as Kemba Walker had 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the charge.
Josh McRoberts was the only other Bobcat in double figures with 12 points, while Gerald Henderson and Anthony Tolliver scored nine apiece. The Bobcats have defeated Detroit twice, New Orleans and Memphis on the current winning streak. It's their first four-game win streak since March 25-30, 2011.
"To win four in a row against good teams and to play this well in a game like that was hard fought, you have to feel good about it," Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said.
Charlotte was able to squeeze by the Grizzlies, who shut down Al Jefferson to the tune of six points and nine rebounds. Jefferson entered the game posting an average of 26.9 points and 11.2 rebounds in his previous 19 games.
The Bobcats have 12 road victories (12-16) this season, doubling their total of six road wins from last season. They are one road victory shy of the single-season franchise high.
With a 6-2 record in the last eight games against the West, Charlotte hopes to pull off an upset of the Spurs on their home floor.
San Antonio defeated Charlotte not too long ago by a 104-100 score on Feb. 8 at Time Warner Cable Arena and was led by Mills' 32 points. Jefferson and Henderson scored 26 and 23 points, respectively, in that one for the Bobcats, who are just 2-16 all-time against the Spurs.
Charlotte, which is winless in six straight games in this series, has lost six straight and eight of the nine meetings in the Alamo City.