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Spurs-Hornets Preview

AP - Sports

Unable to shut down opponents on the road, the San Antonio Spurs find themselves in the midst of their worst start as the visiting team in 15 seasons.

The Western Conference-worst New Orleans Hornets, meanwhile, are experiencing plenty of difficulty putting points on the board at home.

The Spurs continue a road-heavy stretch Monday night against a Hornets team desperate to end its longest home losing streak in almost seven years.

San Antonio (10-7) has been solid defensively while allowing 90.1 points per game in 10 home contests, but in contrast has struggled mightily on the road. The Spurs have yielded an average of 104.7 points away from the AT&T Center in opening 1-6 away from home - their worst start since losing nine of their first 10 during their first season under coach Gregg Popovich in 1996-97.

One night after falling 88-86 to Sacramento, Popovich's team began a stretch of 14 of 18 on the road with Saturday's 105-102 loss at Houston. With Manu Ginobili still sidelined (broken left hand) and Tim Duncan resting, Tony Parker posted 24 points and 13 assists while reserve center Tiago Splitter scored a career-high 25 to go along with 10 boards.

The Rockets, though, shot 55.7 percent. In each of their Spurs' road losses, their opponent has made more than half of its shots.

"Some days, there are no excuses. They made plays at the end of the game," forward Richard Jefferson said. "Tony had a great game, Tiago had a great game, two teams were battling back and forth. They made the right plays, we had a shot to tie it, and we don't get it done. Simple enough."

Having taken seven of nine in this series even with Chris Paul to worry about, San Antonio has to like its chances of regrouping against woeful New Orleans (3-13). The Hornets opened the season with back-to-back victories but have since dropped 13 of 14 - including eight straight at New Orleans Arena.

The Hornets, who are experiencing their worst skid on their own court since concluding 2004-05 with 10 consecutive home defeats, are averaging a league-worst 85.1 points as host.

New Orleans' offensive struggles continued in Saturday's 83-81 loss to Dallas. The Hornets shot just 37.2 percent from the field - including an ugly 2-of-19 effort from 3-point range.

"I don't know what our 3-point percentage was, but it was poor. It's one of those things where you have to keep plugging away. That's all you have until this changes," coach Monty Williams said. "Our defense is holding teams in the 80s, which is what we like to do. Now our guys have to go out there and have some fun and score the ball and trust the offense a bit."

New Orleans is shooting just 20.4 percent from beyond the arc during a seven-game overall losing streak.

"You can't point it at one particular thing," Williams added. "You point the finger at us as a team. We have to get back in the gym and keep working on it."

Forward Carl Landry, who had been held to a combined 16 points in limited minutes over the previous five games, scored a game-high 19 on Saturday.

While the Hornets have held their own defensively, they could have a hard time slowing down Parker. The three-time All-Star is averaging 24.3 points and 9.3 assists in his last three contests.

Duncan, who has posted four double-doubles in his last six, is expected to return.

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