Spurs, Pacers look for bounce-back performances

NBA Basketball

The San Antonio Spurs have not played well at home this season, but they will look to reverse that trend when they host the slumping Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

San Antonio is just 12-15 in its own building following a 134-129 double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. The Spurs have won only twice through the first seven games of their franchise-high, nine-game homestand that was supposed to set the table for the successful second half of the season.

Instead, the Spurs find themselves looking for answers.

“We are just going to keep working to try to get a little more disciplined, make a few less errors,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. “But without practice, it makes it tough, especially for our young guys,”

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 36 points and nine assists in the loss to the Hawks, two off his season high. DeRozan hit a running jumper in the lane with 2.7 seconds to play in regulation to send the game into overtime, but San Antonio — playing the second game of a back-to-back set — ultimately ran out of gas in the second extra period.

The previous night, San Antonio beat the visiting Sacramento Kings 120-106.

“They’ve showed a lot of grit and a lot of downright fiber of hanging in, playing tough,” Popovich said about his team’s effort against the Hawks. “This was three in four nights, so I’m happy that they don’t die.”

San Antonio’s Derrick White added 29 points Thursday to set a regular-season career high. Rudy Gay scored 18, Dejounte Murray had 16 and Jakob Poeltl contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Spurs will be without Lonnie Walker IV for the seventh straight game due to a sore right wrist.

Indiana rolls into the Alamo City for the second half of a home-road back-to-back after a 114-97 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. The defeat was the third straight for the Pacers, who have won just 10 times in their past 29 games.

It was the second game in row in which Indiana didn’t score at least 100 points.

Caris LeVert led the Pacers with 16 points while Doug McDermott scored 13. T.J. McConnell and Aaron Holiday hit for 12 points each, and Goga Bitadze and Edmond Sumner scored 10 apiece in the loss.

Levert, who has played in 11 games for the Pacers after his trade from the Brooklyn Nets in January and following kidney surgery, has been a standout for Indiana of late.

“I feel like the losing is getting to our spirit, and that can’t happen to us,” Levert said after the loss to Charlotte. “We didn’t play well (Friday) with our effort. That can’t happen. We’re not going to win games if we play like that, uninspired basketball.

“I feel like we’re just out there. We’re not affecting the game like we should be. We’re not getting excited for each other when we do something well.”

Indiana played Friday without Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hip) and was missing Domantas Sabonis down the stretch. Sabonis injured his left thigh in the Pacers’ Wednesday home loss to the Miami Heat, and he sat out the fourth quarter against the Hornets because of a sprained left ankle.

–Field Level Media

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