Spurs to open season at New Orleans

The Sports Xchange
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--The Spurs will begin their 40th season of professional basketball on Oct. 31 against No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis and the Hornets at New Orleans. The Spurs will turn around and host their home opener at the AT&T Center on Nov. 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last season's Western Conference final.

The Spurs played their first official game on Oct. 10, 1973 against the San Diego Conquistadors in a matchup of ABA teams. Since joining the NBA in 1976, the Spurs have missed the playoffs only four times and sport a winning percentage of .607 (1,764-1,140), which ranks second in the league over that time period. And since Tim Duncan joined the team, the Spurs have the best winning percentage over any 15-year span in NBA history with a .702 (830-352) mark. The .702 winning percentage is the top winning percentage in all four major sports over the last 15 seasons (1997-present).

The Silver and Black will face the defending NBA champions Miami Heat on Nov. 29 in Miami and will host LeBron James and company at the AT&T Center on Sunday, March 31. Spurs fans will get their first look at Steve Nash in a Lakers jersey when Los Angeles visits San Antonio on Jan. 9.

The Spurs hit the road and travel on a nine-game away stretch starting Feb. 6 for their annual rodeo road trip and will return to host the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 27.

--Jacque Vaughn, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Spurs and was a member of their 2006-07 NBA Championship team as a player, was named head coach of the Orlando Magic. Vaughn, 37, is the 10th head coach in franchise history.

"We are beyond excited to name Jacque Vaughn as our head coach," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque's spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice. We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come."

During Vaughn's two seasons on San Antonio's staff, the Spurs compiled a regular-season record of 111-37 and had the best record in the Western Conference both seasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"He's got it all. He cares about the game, he's bright, he's demanding, he's as decent a human being as we have. He respects the game. I don't think anybody's better, and I've said that for a long time." -- SMU coach Larry Brown, on former assistant Gregg Popovich.

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