The Washington Wizards lost another, and after getting blown out for the second time in two nights, the frustration is starting to show.
Tony Parker(notes) scored 17 points and the Spurs stopped a three-game losing streak with a 106-84 win over the Wizards on Saturday night. Afterward, San Antonio hoped the win begins the turnaround of what has been one of the most dreary starts in the Duncan era.
“We have to try to get a streak going,” Duncan said.
The Spurs hit the 10-game mark with their first losing record since 1996. San Antonio is now 5-6 with five of its next six games at home.
Washington is off to its own dreadful start at 3-9, and after losing for the eighth time in nine games, the Wizards began putting the blame on egos and hidden agendas without calling anyone out by name.
The loss was the worst yet this season for Washington, topping what had been their worst loss Friday night after going down 127-108 at Oklahoma City.
Arenas continued: “I guess when you start losing, everyone wants to start pointing fingers everywhere else. I converted my game to try and get people involved.”
“I think the only person who actually had to sacrifice (to win) was me,” Arenas said.
Six of Washington’s losses have been by double digits.
Parker played for only the second time in six games after being bothered by a bad ankle.
“I was a little worried. I didn’t want to bring him back too early,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But he had his quickness. I thought he did a fine job out there.”
Washington hasn’t won in San Antonio since 1999. But unlike Thursday night against Utah, which also hadn’t won here in decade, the Spurs kept this streak going.
San Antonio is now looking for a winning streak, and more defense like this will help: The Spurs kept the Wizards below 100 points for the first time in four games, and held an opponent below 90 for only the second time this season.
The usually dependable Spurs defense has been marginal so far, giving up an average of 98.8 points entering Saturday’s game. Between shaky defense and injuries—Manu Ginobili(notes) is out at least until next week with a strained left groin—the revamped Spurs have not been the power many predicted.
But 5-6 is still where the Spurs were a year ago before going on to win the Southwest Division.
San Antonio led 52-40 at halftime, then buried the Wizards with a 22-8 burst to start the third. Duncan, who also had seven assists, scored eight in the quarter, then took a seat the rest of the night.
To add to Washington’s bad news, guard Mike Miller(notes) could miss a month after straining his right calf in the first quarter and leaving the game. Washington coach Flip Saunders said trainers thought Miller “might have popped it,” and if that’s the case, it could be four to five weeks.
“We’re very much in a bad situation,” Saunders said. “A lot of guys are frustrated, including me.”