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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 16th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (26-55) at San Antonio Spurs (62-19), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs have wrapped up the best record in the NBA, but they'll put a close on the regular season Wednesday night with a home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Spurs will have home-court advantage throughout the entire playoffs. They have nothing to play for on Wednesday night, but the starters should see time versus the Lakers.
"Most everybody," said the ever-effusive Spurs skipper Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio continues its remarkable run through the NBA, not so coincidentally in the Tim Duncan era. Since Duncan's arrival, the Spurs have won 50-plus games in every full season, 60-plus four times and four NBA titles.
The Spurs won a franchise-record 19 straight games, yet, what impresses Popovich the most about his group this season has to do with something that occurred last season.
"What does impress me about the group is that they've gotten themselves in this position after a devastating loss in the Finals last year," said Popovich. "I thought they were pretty amazing after Game 6 to play as hard as they did in Game 7, when I think a lot of teams would have just given in. Beyond that, they came back, put it aside and have done what they've done. I think that's pretty impressive. I don't think a lot of people have picked up on that but I have and I'm really impressed with them."
San Antonio all but had a fifth ring wrapped up until Ray Allen hit a desperation 3-pointer to tie Game 6 with 5.2 seconds on the clock. Miami prevailed in overtime of that game, then won the title in Game 7.
The Spurs head into Wednesday's matchup after a 104-98 loss in Houston to the Rockets.
The Big Three of Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili played, but key contributors Tiago Splitter, Patty Mills, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard all rested.
Marco Belinelli paced San Antonio with 17 points, with Duncan posting 12 points and nine rebounds and Jeff Ayres also recording 12 points while coming off the bench.
The Lakers will be put out of their collective misery on Wednesday. The 55 losses are a franchise-worst and LA is headed to the lottery for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
On Monday, the Lakers halted a seven-game losing streak with a 119-104 road win over the Utah Jazz.
Nick Young was two off his career-high with 41 points to lead the Lakers.
"My teammates were finding me. I just got hot," Young said.
Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill added 23 and 21 points, respectively, for the Lakers, who also snapped a seven-game road skid. Wesley Johnson and Robert Sacre each had 12 points.
The Spurs have taken all three games against the Lakers this season and three in a row as the host in this series.
04/16 10:23:10 ET
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