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Old 04-12-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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Talking Spurs-Kings Preview - 4/12/09

Spurs-Kings Preview

The San Antonio Spurs are heading to the playoffs for the 12th straight time, but unlike previous seasons, they've been stumbling down the stretch instead of gaining momentum for a title run.

Despite their recent struggles, they still have a chance to host a first-round series.

The Spurs look to build on an important victory over a playoff-bound team and move into a first-place tie atop the Southwest Division when they visit the NBA-worst Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

San Antonio (51-28) has averaged nearly 59 victories over the past eight seasons, but injuries to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have made wins harder to come by.

The Spurs had lost four of their previous six before pulling out a 105-99 victory over Utah on Friday night. Parker finished with a game-high 31 points, while Duncan had 14 points and nine rebounds after finishing with a season-low four points in Wednesday's 95-83 loss to Portland.

"Every one is very important right now," said Duncan, whose knees have been bothering him since the All-Star break. "But more than that, getting our confidence up and getting a rhythm going."

The Spurs are locked in a back-and-forth race with Houston for the Southwest crown. San Antonio, which has won seven division titles in the past 10 seasons, was atop the Southwest for much of 2008-09 before going 8-8 over the past month and losing Ginobili this week to a season-ending ankle injury.

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