For the first time all season, the San Antonio Spurs lost their third straight game on Wednesday night. The latest setback came against the Chicago Bulls in a 96-86 loss. The score implies a closeness that may not have been visible to the audience. The offense was out of sync the whole night as the Spurs committed 19 turnovers. The lack of ball control was uncharacteristic of a Gregg Popovich team who just could not find their rhythm.
With Manu Ginobili inactive due to a hamstring issue that he has been struggling with all season, newcomers Othyus Jeffers and Jeff Ayres got the start. Their total combined offensive contribution was a zero points.
San Antonio once again had to rely on their stars to carry the scoring responsibility, which was not enough. Tim Duncan finished with a respectable double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tony Parker‘s 20 points was a game-high, but was not enough as the Spurs trailed through most of the second half.
With a high percentage of their offense out with injuries, the Spurs were virtually digging at the bottom of the barrel for scoring options. Patty Mills showed some promise off the bench with his 12 points, but his five fouls prohibited more playing time.
Three offensive fouls in the fourth quarter were costly mistakes that the Spurs could not afford as they tried to get back in the game. Signs of frustration and confusion were a constant theme throughout the game, and looks of despair floated throughout the AT&T Center. This was the Spurs’ eighth loss at home, which is a big letdown compared to their six home losses from last season.
The Spurs need offensive solutions quickly because they host the Sacramento Kings this weekend.