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San Antonio at Indiana

Venue: Conseco Fieldhouse
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Poor defense is to blame for the San Antonio Spurs' first losing streak of the season. Facing a team that has struggled offensively lately could be just what they need to get back on track.

The Spurs look to avoid losing three straight for the first time since last January when they try for their eighth straight victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

San Antonio (29-6) has dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season, putting up two of its worst defensive efforts in back-to-back road losses to New York and Boston.

After a 128-115 loss to the Knicks on Tuesday in which coach Gregg Popovich described he defense as "pathetic," the Spurs allowed the Celtics to shoot 61.5 percent in a 105-103 loss Wednesday. It was the highest shooting percentage by a San Antonio opponent since the Los Angeles Lakers shot 62.1 percent in 1988.

Despite those poor defensive efforts, San Antonio still has the NBA's best record - not that that is much comfort to the team.

"We're not satisfied with where we are, and honestly, I don't really care what our record is," said Tim Duncan, who had 18 points Wednesday. "(With) the kind of defense we're playing, we're definitely not satisfied where we are right now."

The Spurs, who gave up 72 first-half points to the Knicks and 27 first-quarter points to the Celtics, have especially had trouble defending in the backcourt. New York's Raymond Felton scored 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting and Boston's Ray Allen had 31 on 13 of 16. Rajon Rondo also had a triple-double with 22 assists.

This stretch is particularly frustrating since San Antonio relied heavily on its defense during a four-game winning streak prior to the last two games. It gave up 82.3 points during that stretch.

While the Spurs have been discouraged by their recent defense, they may have an easier time containing Indiana (14-18), which lost for the fourth time in five games with a 98-92 defeat at New York on Sunday. The Pacers have averaged 90.3 points in their last seven games while shooting 39.4 percent.

They were held to 37.4 percent from the field Sunday. Danny Granger had 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while Darren Collison added 22 points. Indiana scored 15 points in the final period after missing 16 of 23 field-goal attempts.

"We didn't finish this one well," said Granger, whose shooting struggles continued as he finished 9 of 23 from the floor. "You can always work to get better, we just turned the ball over down the stretch too many times."

Granger is shooting 36.8 percent in the last seven games and has eight turnovers in the last two contests. However he's been sharp in his last three contests against the Spurs, averaging 28 points on 55 percent shooting.

San Antonio has won seven straight over Indiana, including a season-opening 122-109 victory at home Oct. 27. The Spurs have also won three in a row at Conseco Fieldhouse, holding the Pacers to fewer than 90 points in two of those victories.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
San Antonio1st Southwest 6220.75606-4Lost 2
Indiana1st Central 5626.68304-6Won 2

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Injuries
San Antonio
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
Indiana
PlayerInjury
A BynumKnee
 
Key Players
Tim<br>Duncan
Tim
Duncan
, PF
29.0 Min. Per Game 36.7 Danny<br>Granger
Danny
Granger
, SF
13.7 Pts. Per Game 21.1
3.0 Ast. Per Game 2.5
9.2 Reb. Per Game 5.8
49.3 Field Goal % 41.6
0 Three Point % 35.9
72.6 Free Throw % 84.2
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
San Antonio Spurs1382.50
Indiana Pacers2072.15
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Jan 8 @ AtlantaATL 97-87
Feb 4 @ AtlantaIND 89-85
Feb 18IndianaIND 108-98
Apr 6IndianaATL 107-88
Apr 19IndianaATL 101-93
Apr 22IndianaIND 101-85
Apr 24 @ Atlanta 
Apr 26 @ Atlanta 
Apr 28Indiana 
May 1 @ Atlanta 
May 3Indiana 
 
Other Games
Chi 99 Final
Phi 105
NJ 77 Final
Wash 97
Tor 102 Final
Bos 122
Port 108 Final
Min 98
Hou 95 Final
Orl 110
Utah 99 Final
Mem 110
Mia 101 Final
Mil 95
Cle 98 Final
GS 116
NO 97 Final
LAL 101
NY 121 Final
Pho 96