Spurs shoot for 4-0 trip in Sacramento

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will go for a perfect 4-0 road trip Saturday night when the defending champs visit the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.

The Spurs have dispatched two of the league's best - the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors - to start the sojourn, then knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers, 93-80, on Friday night.

San Antonio's defense blanketed Kobe Bryant, holding the NBA's leading scorer to single digits on a night the Spurs dominated the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant, who entered play averaging 27.5 points per game, was limited to just nine on 1-of-14 shooting from the field. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

"We did a much better job defensively than offensively tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Our guys stayed down on Kobe. We didn't go for his fakes. He just had an off night."

Tim Duncan registered 13 points and 11 rebounds. Cory Joseph had 14 points, Kawhi Leonard scored 12 and Tony Parker chipped in 11 points and nine assists for the defending NBA champions, who have won three in a row since a 2-3 start to the season.

Despite Pop's complaints, the Spurs did shoot 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

The Spurs return home for just one game - Monday versus the winless Philadelphia 76ers. They head to Cleveland and Minnesota following Monday's game.

The Kings have struggled a bit since starting the season 5-1. They return to Sleep Train Arena the losers of three in a row, all coming on a recent road trip.

After starting the sojourn with a win in Phoenix, the Kings fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies. Sacramento was in all three games, especially against the Grizzlies, which went down to the final tick on the clock.

Memphis' Courtney Lee flew through the air to catch Vince Carter's inbounds feed and got a reverse off-balance shot to fall as time expired, though television replays appeared to show the Kings' Ryan Hollins getting a hand on the pass, which would have started a clock that had just 0.3 seconds showing at the start of the play.

After a review that lasted several minutes, the basket was upheld to give the Grizzlies a 111-110 victory.

Rudy Gay scored 25 points and DeMarcus Cousins netted 22 along with 12 rebounds in Sacramento's loss eighth in a row to Memphis. Darren Collison recorded 20 points in the tough-luck defeat.

"This is two games in a row we had the exact same type of result in a game," said Cousins. "We can't continue to make the same mistakes. We can't blame the refs, we can't blame the (clock operator). It's on us. We have to learn from our mistakes and become a better team."

The Kings shot a scorching 68.2 percent in the first quarter and led by as many as 25 points in the opening period. They seemed to have the game well in hand when Ramon Sessions knocked down a jumper with 7:22 remaining that had the Kings up by a 103-86 count.

Yet, Memphis ended up winning the game.

The Spurs have won nine straight versus the Kings, but the dominance goes far deeper. The Spurs are 21-1 in their last 22 against Sacramento, including 11 straight victories as the visitor.