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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 3rd (All times eastern)

San Antonio Spurs (27-19) at Sacramento Kings (16-31), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs kick off their annual rodeo road trip tonight when they visit the reeling Sacramento Kings in California's capital.

Each year around this time the Spurs hit the road while the annual San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo takes over the AT&T Center. Historically, the long trips have actually been very successful for Gregg Popovich's team, which has compiled a 40-16 mark in the seven rodeo road trips since the club moved into the AT&T Center.

This year's version will visit eight cities and last 2 1/2 weeks, broken up by the All-Star break next weekend.

The road just might be the tonic San Antonio needs. The Spurs are coming off a rather listless 2-4 homestand, capped with a 103-89 loss to Denver on Sunday. Kenyon Martin led all scorers with 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that one, as the Nuggets pulled away late.

George Hill, starting in place of the injured Tony Parker, led six players in double-figure scoring with 17 points for San Antonio, which was unable to build off Friday's 104-97 win over Memphis.

"It's a tough loss," Popovich said. "It's a game we should have won, but didn't because of ourselves. The first disappointment came at the end of the second quarter when they went on a 12-0 run. We had some open threes, but didn't shoot well. We lost our poise and attempted four horrible shots. Overall, if you can't make a basket, you can't win."

Tim Duncan went for 16 points and 10 boards, while Manu Ginobili had 14 points and nine assists in a reserve role for the Spurs as Parker missed his second straight contest after spraining his ankle against Atlanta on Wednesday. The veteran point guard is expected to remain sidelined tonight.

San Antonio will also visit Portland, the LA Clippers, the LA Lakers, Denver, Indiana, Philadelphia and Detroit on its trek.

The Kings, meanwhile, also lost to Denver in their most recent outing, a tough 112-109 overtime loss in the Rockies on Monday. Arron Afflalo poured in 12 points in that one, including the game-winning jumper with 18.4 seconds left in the extra frame.

Spencer Hawes tallied 23 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who have lost three in a row and 10 of 11 overall. Kevin Martin ended with 22 points, six assists, and five rebounds, while Omri Casspi chipped in 14 points for Sacramento, which has lost 10 consecutive road games.

Rookie star Tyreke Evans was a late scratch against Denver with a balky ankle but is expected back in the lineup tonight.

San Antonio has dominated the Kings in recent seasons, taking seven straight and 16 of its last 18 meetings with Sacramento. The Spurs have also won in seven of their last eight trips to Sacramento.

02/03 10:40:24 ET


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