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Spurs hope to get well at home vs. Pacers

Sports Xchange
21 Jan 2018, 11:38 GMT+10

After struggling on the road for the past two weeks, the San Antonio Spurs look to get back on track when the road-weary Indiana Pacers visit the ATT Center on Sunday in San Antonio, Texas.

The Spurs come into the game on the heels of an 86-83 loss at Toronto on Friday that gave them a 5-6 record in their past 11 games. Nine of those were on the road and the Spurs went 3-6 away from home during that stretch.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored his 1,000th point of the season Friday, joining Cleveland's LeBron James as the only players to accomplish that feat in the last 11 seasons.

Aldridge notched his 19th double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds as the game marked the 36th time Aldridge has led the team in points -- the most games a player has led his squad in points in the league.

"In the third quarter, I crashed the boards like a madman to try and get things going," said Aldridge, who racked up eight straight points to pull the Spurs within one point late in the quarter. "It was one of those nights. We had layups that didn't go in. We competed at a high level. It was just our offense didn't ever get going."

Pau Gasol chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds. The Spurs grabbed 56 rebounds, the most they've had in a game this season, but they missed wide-open shots at key times.

"We couldn't score," said Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who didn't play in the second half at Toronto. "We did a good job defensively. We just couldn't make a basket. You just have to keep pushing, keep being aggressive. And stop thinking too much. Myself, I was thinking too much tonight. You have to fight through it."

San Antonio (30-17) is 19-2 at home, the best record in the NBA, and has won 14 straight home games, also a league-leading mark. The Spurs play seven of their next eight games at home.

The Spurs announced Saturday evening that forwards Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis) and Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) are out for the game against Indiana and that reserve guard Manu Ginobili (right thigh contusion) is questionable.

Indiana (24-22) heads to the Alamo City after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers 99-86 on Friday. Sunday's game in San Antonio will be the finale of a five-game road trip for the Pacers that saw them win at Phoenix and Utah before losing to Portland and the Lakers.

Indiana struggled to make baskets against the Lakers, shooting 38.1 percent from the field, including 2 of 25 from 3-point range in the loss. The Pacers have shot less than 40 percent from the field only four times this season, including the last two games.

"We didn't do a good job keeping this team out of the paint," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "They were able to get out in transition. Going down the stretch we didn't execute. They were able to establish their style of play. their tempo, pushing the ball. The paint was wide open most of the game, and they attacked us."

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, the Pacers cut the Lakers' lead to two points with less than six minutes to play in the fourth quarter before LA heated up late to clinch the victory.

Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 25 points. Domantas Sabonis finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

"Some of the shots we missed were open looks, we just couldn't make one," Oladipo said. "It was just one of those nights. We can't worry about it -- we just have to do better. It happens sometimes. It has happened to us the last two nights."

Forward Myles Turner missed his sixth straight game with a shoulder injury and forward Lance Stephenson didn't suit up against the Lakers because he was sick. It remains to be seen whether either will play Sunday

The Spurs lost to the Pacers 97-94 in the first of two meetings this season on Oct. 29 in Indianapolis despite 26 points by Aldridge and 17 from Gasol.

San Antonio owns a 53-37 all-time record against Indiana and has enjoyed a 30-15 edge at home. The Spurs and Pacers first met on Oct. 13, 1973, in Indianapolis, when both teams played in the ABA. Indiana won that game 116-99.

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