There’s never any love lost between the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls so expect some fireworks when the two teams square off on Saturday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio for the second and final time this season.
Both the Spurs, who fell 94-87 to Milwaukee, and the Bulls, 105-87 losers to Indiana, played Friday and will face a quick turnaround
San Antonio committed 18 turnovers Friday against the Bucks but still had a shot in the end game to win. The Spurs missed their final five shots and got no second chances down the stretch.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs (7-5) with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Ginobili scored a season-high 18 points off the bench and Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson had 14 and 10 points, respectively.
“We played pretty poorly for most of the game and they played better,” Ginobili said. “We adjusted to their defense late in the game but it was too late. It’s hard to win an NBA game with 18 turnovers.”
San Antonio had a three-game win streak snapped.
“We can’t turn the ball over the way we’re constituted right now,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Every time we have a high turnover game we are going to have problems. (Milwaukee) showed better composure than we did down the stretch — they got some good shots and we were a little bit sloppy with too many defensive errors.”
San Antonio star forward Kawhi Leonard has not played a game this season due to the injury to his right leg. The Spurs have stayed afloat without Leonard, who was an MVP candidate last season, and their venerable point guard Tony Parker.
Chicago never led Friday against Indiana, hit just 7 of its 27 shots from 3-point range in the defeat and lost its third straight game.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said his team lacked fight, and that it was evident from the opening tip.
“We talked (in training camp) about our rules in defensive transition and that completely went out the window tonight,” Hoiberg said. “Indiana scored 20 (points) in transition and it seemed like 50. We didn’t get back, we hung our heads.
“You could see in our guys’ faces that it was going to be a long night.”
Bobby Portis, playing his second game since returning from an eight-game suspension for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic in face in a preseason practice altercation, scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench to lead Chicago (2-8) against Indiana.
“It’s very frustrating,” Portis said. “But we’re a young team, we’re all still learning and we’re trying to get better each and every day.”
Kris Dunn added 16 points for the Bulls, who also got 14 points from Justin Holiday and 12 from rookie Lauri Markkanen, who reached double figures for the 10th straight game.
Prior to Friday’s loss, Chicago president Michael Reinsdorf gave Hoiberg a vote of confidence, saying despite the Bulls’ slow start that Hoiberg’s efforts to get his team to play the right way “isn’t going unnoticed. Right now, we’re happy,” Reinsdorf said. “The team is playing really hard. Fred’s got them playing really hard.”
San Antonio beat Chicago 87-77 on Oct. 21 in the Windy City in the two teams’ first meeting of the season.
There has not been a two-game sweep for either team since 2012-13, when the Spurs won both contests. Chicago the Bulls hasn’t dropped consecutive road games to the Spurs since losing three in a row from the 2006-07 to 2008-09 seasons.