With a lineup featuring Tim Duncan(notes), Tony Parker(notes), Manu Ginobili(notes) and Richard Jefferson(notes), the San Antonio Spurs boast one of most talented teams in the NBA. It hardly showed last time out, though.
The Spurs look to bounce back from a disappointing effort Saturday night when they host the Sacramento Kings, who are coming off a tough loss.
There was a time when Duncan could practically carry San Antonio by himself, but for the Spurs (1-1) to be successful and contend for a title these days, the veteran star needs some support from his teammates.
That shouldn’t be a problem with Parker running the offense, Jefferson handling a share of the scoring and Ginobili providing a spark off the bench, but those three didn’t do much to help Duncan in Thursday’s 92-85 loss to Chicago.
An 11-time All-Star and two-time MVP, Duncan finished with 28 points on 13 of 19 shooting and also grabbed 16 rebounds. The rest of the team, though, shot 33.9 percent (20 of 59) and had 28 boards.
Ginobili scored 12 points but was just 3 for 11 while Parker, who left Wednesday’s season-opening 113-96 win over New Orleans following a hard fall in the third quarter, had eight points on 4 of 11 shooting and three assists.
Jefferson, a proven scorer acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason, had another rough game with his new team. After going 1 for 7 from the floor for five points versus the Hornets, he was 3 for 9 for nine points against the Bulls.
“Just one of those nights we couldn’t make a shot, and on top of that, (the Bulls) brought a lot of energy to the table,” Duncan said.
The Spurs hope to get things turned around against a Kings team they’ve had little trouble beating lately. San Antonio has won five straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings.
The Kings (0-2), who will close out a three-game road trip before Monday’s home opener against Memphis, arrive in San Antonio following Friday’s 97-92 loss at New Orleans.
Although the Kings fell to 6-37 on the road since the start of last season, new coach Paul Westphal was pleased by the effort from a team that won an NBA-low 17 games in 2008-09.
“I’m very proud of them,” Westphal said. “They proved they can compete. It’s the little things we need to learn as a team. … We were in position to win the game. They closed the deal and we didn’t.”
Martin finished with 20 points Friday but made just 9 of 29 shots and is shooting 29.2 percent through two games.
He averaged 24.6 points last season, but also missed 31 games—including all three against the Spurs—due to ankle injuries.