This is a tough time for the struggling San Antonio Spurs to be opening their longest road trip of the season. A matchup with the Sacramento Kings, though, gives them a chance to build some early momentum.
In the opener of an eight-game trip, the Spurs look to win their eighth straight against the lowly Kings on Wednesday night.
San Antonio (27-19) has had a long road trip at about this time of year for eight straight seasons. The Spurs’ trip will be broken up by the All-Star game Feb. 14, and will last 3 1/2 weeks.
The Spurs have had successful trips each of the past two years, going 5-3 last season and 6-3 in 2007-08, but they have struggled in recent weeks. They’re coming off a 2-4 homestand and have dropped six of nine overall.
San Antonio, though, has won seven straight and 16 of its last 18 against Sacramento (16-31). The Spurs have won seven of their last eight road games in the series.
Tony Parker(notes) is averaging 21.0 points and 9.5 assists in San Antonio’s two games against Sacramento this season, but the veteran point guard isn’t expected to play in this matchup. Parker has missed two straight games with a left ankle sprain.
Hill had 17 points but also committed four turnovers in San Antonio’s 103-89 loss to Denver on Sunday.
The Spurs, allowing 96.2 points per game, have surrendered at least 100 in three of their last six contests. It was San Antonio’s offense, however, that drew most of coach Gregg Popovich’s ire following the team’s latest loss.
The Spurs shot 43.0 percent from the field and made 3-of-17 attempts from 3-point range.
“People need to step up and start making shots,” Popovich said.
San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili(notes) has been in a slump, shooting 30.9 percent over his last four games. The eight-year veteran is averaging 12.9 points, his lowest since posting 12.8 in his second season.
Sacramento has had its own problems offensively. The Kings needed overtime to reach 100 points for the first time in seven games, losing 112-109 to Denver on Monday night.
Evans has been one of the few bright spots on a Sacramento team that has lost 15 of 17. The Kings have also dropped seven of their last 10 at Arco Arena after winning 10 of their first 13 there.