San Antonio has won three straight and 10 of the last 12 meetings with Seattle, including five of six at KeyArena. The Spurs are in a battle with Dallas for the top spot in the West, while the Sonics have the second-worst record in the conference.
Former Seattle guard Brent Barry shot 7-for-8 from 3-point range for a season-high 23 points to lead the Spurs to a 98-79 win over Portland on Friday. San Antonio had a five-game winning streak snapped in the opener of the trip, falling 104-92 to Denver on Wednesday.
“This feels like what I used to do for a long time,” said Barry, who is averaging just 5.3 points this season. “It’s good to see the ball going in, and being able to do the things you know you’re capable of doing.”
Barry, who averaged a career-high 14.4 points during the 2001-02 season with the Sonics, is one of several Spurs players getting additional playing time as the season winds down.
Fellow guard Beno Udrih has seen his minutes increase in the last 10 games and is averaging 9.1 points in that span after posting 4.0 a contest in the first 38 games.
San Antonio’s depth has been a key to their success with All-Star forward Tim Duncan being hampered with a foot injury for most of the season.
Duncan is having the worst season of his career with averages of 18.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. It’s the first time since his rookie season of 1997-98 that he’s not the team’s leading scorer.
San Antonio concludes its trip with a pair of games in Los Angeles, meeting the Clippers on Tuesday and the Lakers on Thursday. The Spurs close out the season with seven of 10 games at home, where they’re 30-4.
Seattle got a career night Friday from Robert Swift, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds, but fell 117-104 at Denver for its third loss in five contests.
“We didn’t play. None of us,” Sonics coach Bob Hill said. “As bad as we played, Denver should have beaten us by 50.”
The Sonics are averaging 109.3 points per game and allowing 111.2 over the last six games. They’re the second-highest scoring team in the NBA this season but the worst defensively, scoring 102.1 points and allowing 106.3.
Seattle is on the verge of missing the postseason for the third time in four years.