WASHINGTON -- About 15 minutes after his San Antonio Spurs handed the Washington Wizards their 12th straight defeat, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich bumped into his Wizards counterpart, Randy Wittman in the hall. Popovich put his hand on Wittman's shoulder and wished him luck.
Wittman will need more than consoling.
The Wizards are the 12th team in NBA history to start the season 0-12 according to STATS and are six away from equaling the New Jersey Nets' record 0-18 start in 2009-10.
San Antonio easily polished off Washington 118-92 on Monday night. In the Wizards' first 11 games, they lost by 72 points, and never by more than 16. Washington was completely outclassed by the Spurs, who played their usual precise offensive game with pinpoint passes and lots of open shots.
"I'd like someday for us to play like that," a wistful Wittman said after the game.
San Antonio took the lead with eight minutes to go in the first half and ended it on a 20-10 run for a 60-48 lead.
"It kind of took our will away," Wittman said.
The Spurs steadily increased their advantage in the third quarter and led 92-70 after three. San Antonio's largest lead was 29 in the fourth quarter.
San Antonio had six players in double figures as they continued their successful road trip. Boris Diaw scored 16 points, Tiago Splitter had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Tony Parker added 15. Tim Duncan had 14, Gary Neal 13, Manu Ginobili 12 and Matt Bonner had 11. After winning the first four games of the six-game trip, they're now 8-1 on the road and 12-3 overall.
"They carved us up pretty good tonight," Wittman said.
Popovich had some compassion for his counterpart, who had to play without John Wall and Nene. Wall has missed all season with a left knee injury, but Nene had to sit this game out after playing 29 minutes in a double-overtime loss to Charlotte on Saturday. It was just his second game back after he missed the first nine with a left foot injury.
"You know, you take Tony and Tim off the floor, Manu and Tony off the floor for us, and we'll have a tough time. In the NBA, having your best players is really important," Popovich said.
After Sunday's double-overtime win in Toronto, Popovich's team really needed an easy night. None of his players was on the floor for more than 26 minutes.
"It was huge for us to have a good start and make sure we play well right away. Don't mess with them, because we knew they were 0-11. You don't want to mess with that kind of team. You just want to from the get-go pound them and that's what we did," Parker said.
"We're all embarrassed -- plain and simple," Wizards swingman Martell Webster said.
While Washington was embarrassed, the Spurs were efficient, in playing and leaving. Within a half-hour, their locker room was empty.
"We knew we were going to play a lot of guys and kind of keep our minutes down especially after the tough one last night. We came in here and we gave them (the bench) a little lead and guys stepped up and started making shots and we extended that lead. And it's just great to sit there in the fourth quarter, especially after the game we had last night," Duncan said.
Before the game, Wittman said that Nene was a game-time decision. After that, he walked over to his locker, talked with him and Nene walked away without commenting. He didn't play, but Wittman said he might on Wednesday against Portland. ... Duncan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. In four games, he averaged 22 points and 12.8 rebounds. Popovich promised to give the 36-year-old Duncan more rest. "There'll be times this year when we'll sit him back-to-backs. Win or lose, he's not going to play the minutes he played (Sunday)." Duncan played 41 minutes in the Spurs' double-overtime win over Toronto. ... Washington F Trevor Booker missed his third straight game with a strained right knee. ... Wizards G Shaun Livingston missed the game with a sore right shoulder. He said he might play on Wednesday. ... Mark Lerner, part-owner of the Washington Nationals, joined Wizards owner Ted Leonsis at courtside. ... This was the 13th straight win over Washington for the Spurs.
- Rodney Mott
- Eli Roe
- Bill Kennedy