The San Antonio Spurs have yet to drop back-to-back games this season. Coming off a tough loss and with their best player banged up, it appears a good thing that the NBA's worst team is coming to town.
The Spurs will try to bounce back and avoid their first skid of the season when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
Though he is expected to suit up against the Bucks, point guard Tony Parker is not at full strength due to a bruised right shin. Parker, who leads the team in points (17.9) and assists (6.3) per game, missed two contests in December because of the injury.
He was questionable for Friday night's game against Portland, but played more than 35 minutes and scored 12 points in a 109-100 loss. He is still considered day-to-day.
"I think I'll play," Parker said about the upcoming contest. "I wish I was 100 percent, but it happens. I'll play. I'll play on Sunday. It will all get better with time."
The team may also be without reserve center Matt Bonner, who suffered a nasal fracture against the Trail Blazers. Bonner will require a protective mask if he plays.
The Spurs (28-9) have come back strong after their losses this season, following each of the previous eight with victories that came by an average of 11.7 points. The team's only loss this season to a sub-.500 team was against New York 105-101 on Jan. 2.
After missing a pair of games earlier this month with a sore hamstring, Manu Ginobili has been solid off the bench of late. In three games since returning, Ginobili is averaging 18.7 points and shooting 45.9 percent from the field. He has hit 54.5 percent from 3-point range and 94.1 at the free throw line.
Ginobili scored 29 points against the Blazers, his highest total in a regular season game since Feb. 27, 2011.
"I got in the game and I had two wide open shots. Both went in. Things started to happen," he said. "They found me on a 3-point shot. I started to feel more confident and the whole situation was exciting."
The Bucks (7-32) have dropped eight straight following a 114-104 loss at Houston on Saturday that kicked off their two-game Texas swing.
Brandon Knight was one of five players in double figures with 26 points, but Milwaukee had no answers defensively down low. The Rockets scored 66 points in the paint, the most the Bucks have allowed all season.
Milwaukee also surrendered 26 points off 19 turnovers. The Bucks allow an average of 17.8 points off their miscues, which ranks among the most in the league.
"You will not win a game on the road turning the ball over 20 times, you will not," coach Larry Drew said. "I know in the first quarter, we had five or six turnovers and I know at least three or four of them lead to easy baskets and you are not going to be successful turning the ball over on the road against a good ball club."
The Spurs have won seven of their last eight overall against the Bucks, who have dropped three straight in San Antonio dating to a 100-98 victory on Dec. 30, 2008.
Tim Duncan has averaged 22.0 points against the Bucks over the course of his 18-year career, his highest average against any opponent. When the team's met in Milwaukee on Dec. 11, the veteran big man scored 21 in a 109-77 victory.
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