The San Antonio Spurs’ last two losses came against teams well below .500. Judging by their most recent performance, they appear to have learned their lesson.
Surging San Antonio seeks its fourth straight victory Monday night when it completes its season series with the Golden State Warriors.
The Spurs’ 13-game win streak came to an end March 15 at Milwaukee - the last-place club in the Central Division. Two nights later, San Antonio suffered a stunning 91-85 home defeat to Boston, which owns the league’s second-worst record.
After avoiding a third straight loss to a sub-.500 team with a victory over struggling Indiana, San Antonio (49-20) pulled out a 90-89 win Friday over Eastern Conference-leading Detroit.
On Sunday, facing another team with virtually no shot at the playoffs, the Spurs started fast and were never challenged in a 120-79 rout of Seattle.
“We hit a lot of them, especially in the second half,” said Ginobili, whose 19 points were his most in the last seven games. “We moved the ball really well against their zone and their press and the shots were falling. It makes things much easier.”
The win was the eighth in the last nine road games and the 16th in 18 overall for San Antonio, which needs one victory for its eighth straight 50-win season.
The only bad news for the Spurs was a stomach injury suffered by Horry in the first quarter. Horry did not return to the game, but sat on the bench for part of the second half.
The Warriors (33-38) failed to make up any ground in the playoff race Sunday, falling 115-113 to the Lakers at Los Angeles.
Monta Ellis matched his career high with 31 points and Al Harrington added 23 for Golden State, which had won seven of its previous nine. The loss dropped the Warriors 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“We took command of the game and then we let the game slip away,” Warriors guard Baron Davis said on the team’s official Web site. “We couldn’t rebound the basketball, and when we couldn’t rebound the basketball the game was over.”
Although the Warriors play their next three games at home - where they have won five straight - the first two are against elite teams, San Antonio and Phoenix.
The Spurs have won eight of their last meetings with the Warriors, although they lost their last visit to Oracle Arena, 111-102 on Nov. 27.
San Antonio gained a bit of revenge with a 129-89 home rout of Golden State on Dec. 4. The 129 points are the most the Spurs have scored in a regulation game since a 131-111 win over Denver on April 22, 1993.