The Spurs (45-18), who last won 13 straight from Dec. 5-28, 2003, are third in the Western Conference behind Dallas and Phoenix and in good position to keep rolling Tuesday. San Antonio has won four straight over Los Angeles, including three this season, and 12 of the last 13 meetings.
The Spurs have won eight in a row at home over the Clippers, who are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West but have lost three straight and 11 of 16.
Los Angeles has struggled offensively of late, averaging 81.0 points in the last five games—well under its 94.6 season average. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup with the Spurs, whose defense has been a major factor in their current run.
San Antonio has not allowed more than 96 points during the win streak. The Spurs haven’t sacrificed offensive efficiency either, remaining one of the league’s top shooting teams with a 47.2 field-goal percentage.
“Defensively we’re doing much better,” said San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, named the conference player of the week after averaging 20.5 points on 25-for-51 (49 percent) shooting in four games. “We’re not as irregular as before. But then it’s just confidence. We’re making big shots down the stretch.”
Tony Parker scored 19 points and Tim Duncan had 17 and 13 rebounds in a 93-77 victory over New Jersey on Saturday. It was the Spurs’ sixth straight at home, improving their record there to 21-8. San Antonio plays 12 of its final 19 games at the AT&T Center.
“It’s great, especially when you compare it with the way we were playing before,” Ginobili said of the Spurs, who lost five of eight before their run. “We’re very happy, but at the same time we have to keep improving for when it counts.”
While San Antonio is one of the NBA’s top home teams, Los Angeles (29-33) is among the league’s worst on the road with an 8-21 record, which includes losses in its last four away from Staples Center.
Tuesday starts a six-game trip for the Clippers.
“We need to go .500 on the road trip to make some type of push in the playoff race,” forward Corey Maggette said after scoring 19 points in a 98-80 home loss to Detroit on Sunday. “We just cannot get down. If we get down we will go down the tubes. Right now we still have a chance to make a run.”
Elton Brand added 11 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat. Brand averages a team-leading 20.2 points and shoots 53.1 percent from the field but has struggled of late, averaging 12.3 points on 35 percent (14-for-40) shooting in his last three games.
The Spurs won 88-74 in the last meeting with the Clippers on March 5. Los Angeles’ last victory in San Antonio was 91-87 on Jan. 31, 2002.