San Antonio (36-18) at Atlanta (21-32)

Rain Currently: Atlanta, GA, US
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Feb 21, 2007
  • TV: FSSW, SPSO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Winning should come easy for the San Antonio Spurs when they visit the Atlanta Hawks, but lately that has not been the case.

The Spurs look for a rare win at Philips Arena as they head back on the road to play the Hawks on Wednesday.

San Antonio (36-18) is in third place in the Western Conference and in line to make its 10th straight trip to the playoffs. The Spurs have won 13 of their last 16 over Atlanta, which is 11th in the East, and has missed the playoffs seven consecutive seasons.

This season, the Spurs own the third-best road record in the league at 19-10, and wrapped up an eight-game road trip before the All-Star break with back-to-back wins.

The Hawks (21-32), meanwhile, are tied with Philadelphia for the second-worst home record in the league at 9-15, and have lost three straight at Philips Arena.

The Spurs have the best road record in the league at 120-73 over the past five seasons, and in that same span, the Hawks have the second-worst home record at 80-108. Only the Charlotte Bobcats—a three-year-old franchise—are worse at 43-66.

Although San Antonio has won two NBA titles since 2002-03, it has managed to lose three of its four games in Atlanta in that span. The Spurs are shooting just 40.4 percent from the floor in those games, and have been held to less than 79 points in two of those contests.

Two-time All-Star Tony Parker is averaging 18.9 points and shooting 52.7 percent for San Antonio this season, but is scoring just 10.8 points per game while shooting just 36.4 percent in his last four games in Atlanta.

Following their lengthy road trip leading into the break, the Spurs returned home to defeat Denver 95-80 on Thursday for their third straight victory.

“To come out of the break and continue to win like we did the last two on the road and then win one at home does a lot of good here,” said All-Star Tim Duncan, who had just 12 points and six rebounds.

Duncan had 17 points in San Antonio’s 95-81 win over Atlanta on Dec. 31, and has scored just 29 points in his last two games against the Hawks.

The Spurs are holding opponents to 81.0 points and 40.8 percent shooting in their last three games, and they forced the Hawks into 21 turnovers while holding them to just 39.2 percent shooting in their last meeting.

Atlanta has lost two of its last three games, averaging 84.3 points and shooting 37.7 percent in those contests.

The Hawks are coming off one of their worst offensive games of the season as they missed all 16 third-quarter shots from the field in their 106-81 loss to Chicago on Tuesday.

“We just couldn’t score. That’s the bottom line,”said Josh Childress, who had a team-high 16 points. “I don’t think they turned up the defense at all. It was just us. We couldn’t get it going.”

Joe Johnson is ninth in the league in scoring with a 24.8-point average, but was held to a season-low nine on 2-of-12 shooting against the Bulls.

San Antonio’s defense has also frustrated Johnson, with the All-Star averaging only 17.3 points while shooting 39.4 percent in his last four games against the Spurs.

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