NEW YORK -- How do Spurs players feel after the worst "Rodeo Road Trip" in franchise history?
"Guys are not happy, [they're] frustrated, want to win and want to do the things to win," LaMarcus Aldridge said after San Antonio's 101-85 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. "So it's on us, no one's going to save us. We've got to figure it out ourselves."
Monday's loss left the Spurs at 1-7 on their annual Rodeo Road Trip -- the worst mark in the 17-year history of the extended stretch of away games scheduled to make room for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo at the Spurs' home arena. It also left the club on shaky footing in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Spurs (33-29) enter play Tuesday in eighth place in the conference, a game ahead of the Sacramento Kings. San Antonio's streak of 21 consecutive playoff appearances -- tied for the second-longest in NBA history -- is in jeopardy entering the season's final 20 games.
"We show spurts when we can play and beat anybody in this league, but then we go out there and lose to a team that is one of the worst teams in the league like [Sunday night against the New York Knicks] -- the roller-coaster ride of it is so high and so low," DeMar DeRozan said after scoring 23 points in the loss. "We've got to find that balance and really level off these last 20 games."
The Spurs have been one of the NBA's worst defensive teams over the course of the road trip, particularly on Sunday, when they allowed 130 points in a loss to the Knicks. But San Antonio held Brooklyn to a respectable 101 points on Monday night. The problem was on the other end of the floor, where the Spurs missed 20 of 24 3-point attempts and finished with their lowest point total of the season.
"That [kind of] poor shooting is always going to be a problem," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "But I'm actually pleased with the game ... because we held a good team to 101 points, and if we continue to do that, we'll be in good shape."
D'Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to help Brooklyn (32-30) snap a seven-game losing streak against the Spurs. Up next for San Antonio? A home game on Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons.
They head back to Texas with a losing record on the Rodeo Road Trip for just the third time in 17 seasons.
"We just try to focus on getting wins -- you can't worry about all of the other stuff," Aldridge said when asked about the weight of San Antonio's history of success. "You've just got to focus on getting wins right now."