LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The San Antonio Spurs will look to snap a two game losing streak on Monday night when they face the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio (2-3) enters Monday night’s game at STAPLES Center hoping to shake off a 100-99 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, as well as the 98-81 defeat to the Houston Rockets two nights before that.
Saturday’s negative result was the third in four outings for the defending champions, who are still looking to build a team rhythm.
“I understand a year after winning the championship you’re going to get everyone’s best shot,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
“I believe we’re out there playing hard and I believe things just haven’t gone out way.”
Despite not playing their best basketball on the season thus far, the Spurs welcome their visit to Los Angeles to face a Clippers side that is also playing inconsistently.
The LA Clippers (4-2) are sitting 30th in rebounds per game at 34.3, while allowing 103.8 points per game to sit 26th in the early stages.
“Defense brings teams together,” coach Doc Rivers noted before the win against the Trail Blazers. “Offense makes teams feel good, but the defense is what brings teams together.
“… We’ll have good offensive nights and still win some games, but [until we fix the defense], we will not be an elite team.”
Rivers’ team has, however, won four times this season, including a battling 106-102 result over the Portland Trail Blazers, where shooting guard J.J. Redick finally got going on his way to scoring 30 points in that contest.
“I’m a positive person and my glass is always half-full,” he told reporters after the Portland win. “I knew I would start making some shots.
“I never got too discouraged, but frustrated for sure.”
Victory for the Clippers on Monday will see Rivers’ team winning back-to-back games for the first time since the opening two games of the campaign.
The clash against San Antonio kick-starts a three game home series for the Clippers before they head on the road for seven away clashes to end the month of November.
The Spurs, meanwhile, are starting their four game road series, a schedule which also includes the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Also in action on Monday night are LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-3), who are also struggling defensively in this early part of the season.
They will be facing Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans at Quicken Loans Arena.
Like the Clippers, the Cavaliers are also looking to build better team chemistry, especially in the turnover and assists columns, and James admits that he and point guard Kyrie Irving are both working on some things.
“We’re simply trying to get on the same page,” James said. “We’re two dynamic players and it’s coming along well, I believe.”
Cleveland will come up against an improving New Orleans side being led by All-Star forward Davis, who is averaging 24.4, 12.8 rebounds and 4.40 blocks per game.
“It’s a big win for us,” Davis admits. “But we have to get ready for practice and try to go to Cleveland and get another one.”
Monday, November 10
MATCHUP TIME (ET) LIVE TV CHANNELS
New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00 PM FSN, FSOH
Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers 7:00 PM ROOT, FSMW
Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks 7:30 PM TSOH, MSG, NBATV
Detroit Piston at Chicago Bulls 8:00 PM FSDT, CSNC
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers 10:30 PM FSSW