After a successful homestand, the Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to reverse their fortunes on the road.
The Clippers (9-8) try for their first road victory of the season Friday night when they visit the San Antonio Spurs (14-5).
The Clippers were left as the only team in the NBA without a win away from home after Washington beat the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Los Angeles is 0-6 on the road and has dropped 12 straight regular season games away from its home court.
Snapping that streak against the Spurs won’t be easy, if recent history is any indication. The Clippers have lost their last seven games in San Antonio, going winless there since Jan. 31, 2002.
Overall, the Clippers have dropped nine of their last 10 matchups with the Spurs.
Los Angeles, however, is coming off a 3-1 homestand, capped by Tuesday’s 101-97 victory over defending champion Miami. Elton Brand had 33 points and 17 rebounds after scoring 31 points in Sunday’s 116-91 win over Orlando.
Brand had not scored more than 21 points in his previous seven games. He’s scoring 18.9 points per game this season after averaging 24.7 last season.
“What we were doing wasn’t working,” Brand said. “I needed some touches. I don’t mind taking two shots a game if we win, but we needed to mix it up.”
“Right now we’re in a nice flow,” Brand said. “Coach (Mike Dunleavy) is doing a few things to get me the ball. He’s saying, ‘Hey we want to run these sets, and play like this.’ He’s getting the big men the ball, and we’re sharing the ball. That’s all it takes to be a good team.”
“It was frustrating. I got everything at the rim that I wanted but I couldn’t finish,” Duncan said. “I played through that, was able to get some touches in the fourth quarter and got those to go down for me.”
San Antonio has outscored its opponents by an average of 108.3-87.7 during its winning streak. The Spurs are allowing 91.5 points per game this season, ranking them among the best defensive clubs in the NBA.
“They did what championship teams do,” Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace said. “They took advantage of mismatches, and they were able to execute their offense better than we were.”