April 15, 2014

Among the many blowouts the San Antonio Spurs have enjoyed during the longest home winning streak in franchise history, none has been bigger this season than the one they handed the Utah Jazz.

There's little reason to think the Spurs won't become the seventh team in NBA history to record a 30-game home winning streak Wednesday night when the Jazz return - they haven't won a road game in six weeks and haven't won in San Antonio in nearly six years.

Plus, the Spurs (30-6) have been blowing out opponents lately, winning their last three games by at least 18 points apiece. Utah's last three road losses have been by an average of 23.0, including a 118-81 defeat in San Antonio on Dec. 14.

The Jazz (15-18) trailed by as many as 46 and lost there for the 11th straight time, a streak dating to Jan. 20, 2010. That drought includes the playoffs, as does their 2-34 record in San Antonio since May 1999.

The Spurs are 20-0 at the AT&T Center this season, winning by an average of 16.4 points to match Houston's start in 1985-86 as the second-best at home by a Western Conference team. Portland opened 26-0 in 1977-78.

San Antonio has won 29 straight regular-season home games, but that's not even the best run going because Golden State's streak is at 35. The Spurs are among only seven teams in league history to have home winning streaks last that long.

The Warriors are also the only team with a better overall record than the Spurs, who have won five straight and 12 of 13 behind MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has a plus-minus of 10.0 which ranks fifth in the league, and his average of 2.4 steals since Dec. 10 is third-best. He's leading the league in 3-point shooting at 50.0 percent, including 11 of 14 in the last five games as he's shot 62.5 percent overall.

Leonard scored 10 of his 24 points in the decisive third quarter of Monday's 123-98 win in Milwaukee.

''(Leonard) has been great at both ends of the floor,'' coach Gregg Popovich said. ''He is one of very few two-way players in the league at that level.''

Leonard had a game-high 22 points in the only meeting with the Jazz this season. Utah's Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood combined for eight points on 3-of-13 shooting.

The Jazz have lost all five road games since beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 25 behind Hayward's season-high 33 points. He's averaged 8.7 in the last three road games while shooting 24.1 percent.

Hayward and Hood combined for 43 points at home Monday, but Utah blew a 15-point lead in the second half to lose 93-91 to Houston.

"It's all a part of being a young team and growing," said Hood, a second-year guard who had his first child Sunday. "The good thing is we're playing good basketball, we're playing hard. We're gonna be in a lot of games like this going forward."

Hood had a season-high seven assists and enters Wednesday amid the best three-game scoring stretch of his career with an average of 24.3 points.

It's unclear if Derrick Favors will return after missing the last six games with back spasms, or if San Antonio's Tony Parker will play after sitting out Monday due to hip soreness.

Jeff Withey has played reasonably well starting for Favors, averaging 10.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in the last five games.

Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 20.3 points and 10.7 boards in his last three.

You May Like