San Antonio opens up its annual Rodeo Road Trip tonight in Memphis against the Grizzlies.
Since 2003, the Spurs have been forced on an extended trek for much of February since the AT&T Center hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The Spurs has consistently posted winning records during the excursion, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak (eight games, achieved in 2003).
Things might be a little tougher this time around, however, since San Antonio is just 3-8 as the visitor so far.
This year's version of the Rodeo Road Trip will be a nine-game affair that includes tonight's stop on Beale Street as well as games in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit, Toronto, in LA vs. the Clippers, Utah, Portland and Denver before the team returns to the Alamo City for a Feb. 29 date with Chicago.
"We got to find a way to win on the road. That's the bottom line," Tim Duncan said. "We're going to have enough opportunities coming up soon."
San Antonio heads into the trip on a hot note, winning four straight, including Saturday's impressive 107-96 win over the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.
Tony Parker exploded for a season-high 42 points and added nine assists to become the Spurs' all-time assists leader in that one. The French star moved past Avery Johnson as the franchise's leader with 4,477 helpers.
Duncan added a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds and rookie Kawhi Leonard scored 15 points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range for the Spurs, who are now a gaudy 13-1 at home and lead the Southwest Division by a pair of games.
Memphis, which is opening a five-game homestand tonight, has been struggling a bit recently, losing for the sixth time in eight tries on Sunday, a 98-80 setback in Boston.
"I can't even put a finger on [what's wrong with the offense)," point guard Mike Conley told the Grizzlies' website. "We are missing shots we normally make and they are good looks, lot of them good looks."
Rudy Gay had 21 points and seven rebounds in Beantown to pace the Grizzlies, who wrapped up a three-game road trip with a 1-2 mark. O.J. Mayo finished with 15 points.
"We didn't get back on defense," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins. "They had 26 fastbreak point on us and that was huge."
Memphis, which is 7-3 at home on the season, will also face Minnesota, Indiana, Utah and Houston on its residency.
The Spurs have already topped the Grizz twice this season, including an 83-73 win on Beale Street last week. Matt Bonner hit five three and Parker dished out 12 assists in that game to help San Antonio snap a five-game skid in Memphis, which included three defeats in last season's first-round playoff loss to the Grizzlies.