Party Like It’s 1999? Wizards Try to End Epic Losing Skid in San Antonio

spurs wizards

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 5:39 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 5:39 PM GMT

The Washington Wizards haven’t won a game in San Antonio this century. Will that drought end Wednesday night (9:30 ET) on ESPN?

Washington (40-30, 33-36-1 ATS) at San Antonio (41-30, 37-32-2 ATS)Free NBA Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

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Wednesday is the last night the NBA takes precedence over the NCAA Tournament this week with eight games on the slate. There are none on the West Coast, so the latest tip is Washington’s lone visit of the season to San Antonio at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. My cohort Swinging Johnson also will preview the first ESPN game of the night, Raptors-Cavaliers, here at SBR.

It’s the first meeting of the season between the Wizards and Spurs, which is unusual this late in the regular season even for teams in different conferences. Washington hosts San Antonio next Tuesday.

Last year, the Spurs won both games. LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 21.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard 21.0 points, and Pau Gasol 13.5 points and 10.0 rebounds. Bradley Beal led Washington in putting up 24.0 ppg against the Spurs, John Wall averaged 19.0 ppg and 10.0 assists, and Marcin Gortat 15.5 points and 14.0 rebounds.

San Antonio has covered 20 of the past 27 in this series.

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Some of our top plays from our win against Golden State #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/ZvA2nLdDyY

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 20, 2018
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There Was No Facebook Or Twitter Last Time …

Do you remember what you were doing on Saturday, Dec. 11, 1999? Can’t say that I do, but long-time fans of the Wizards might remember that day because it’s the last time their team won in San Antonio. The final score that night was 99-89 even though the Wizards were terrible that year and 11.5-point underdogs. Mitch Richmond led the upset with 31 points, while Michael Smith had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Tim Duncan and David Robinson combined for 39 points, 22 rebounds and nine blocks but were just 13-for-33 from the field for the Spurs.

Washington has lost 17 straight in San Antonio since, from anywhere as a 15-point dog (Dec. 4, 2001) to a 5.5-point one (Jan. 3, 2015). The Wizards haven’t been favored once and were +9 last year, falling 107-105 on Leonard’s game-winning jumper with six seconds left. Wall had tied it at 105 on a layup with 11.2 seconds to go. Of course, the two All-Stars both remain out injured. Hard to say when Leonard may return from that rather nebulous quad injury, while Wall could return next week from his knee surgery.

The Wizards have won back-to-back games and have been off since Saturday’s 109-102 home victory over Indiana. That allowed the Wizards to claim the season series, which could be vital for a playoff tiebreaker.

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Coach Brooks on John Wall's rehab and his thoughts on the NCAA tournament pic.twitter.com/6PsPLcIWQY

— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 19, 2018
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San Antonio could finish anywhere from third in the West to out of the playoffs entirely, but the franchise’s amazing streak of 18 straight seasons with at least 50 wins is going to end. There’s no way the Spurs will close with at least nine victories in their final 11 games. Maybe if Leonard was healthy. They did win a fourth straight (all at home), though, on Monday, 89-75 against the brutally short-handed Warriors. Aldridge is averaging 30.3 ppg during the streak. He now has six games this year of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the most for the Spurs since Duncan also had six during the 2004-05 campaign.

As usual, the Spurs lead the NBA in defense, allowing 99.0 ppg. It’s their 23rd straight season allowing fewer than 100.0 points, which is amazing. The ‘under’ is 7-1 in the Spurs’ past eight overall and 14-6 in Washington’s previous 20 vs. the West. That’s the Wednesday NBA pick, and I don’t expect the Wizards to end that losing streak, either.

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