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Daye sees light, leads Spurs over 76ers

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers extended a couple of long streaks Monday night — one of success, the other futility.

Forward Austin Daye scored a season-best 22 points as the Spurs won their 14th consecutive game, 113-91, while handing the 76ers their 25th straight defeat.

Philadelphia (15-56) can match the NBA record for longest losing streak Thursday at Houston. Cleveland lost 26 straight in 2010-11.

Daye, playing only his fourth game since the Spurs acquired him in a trade with Toronto on Feb. 20, went 6-for-10 on 3-point shots, grabbed six rebounds and made two blocks and two steals in 29 minutes.

“I just try to be professional and be ready when my number is called,” said the 6-foot-11, 200-pound Daye. “I try not to do too much. This system is amazing and solid. It fits pretty well for myself. When the trade happened, I told people I screamed into my pillow I was so happy.”

Coach Gregg Popovich said he is impressed with Daye’s skills.

“Obviously he can shoot it, but he’s also a good passer,” Popovich said. “He knows how to play the game.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan scored 19, and forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Patty Mills added 15.

Rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 17 points apiece. Center Byron Mullens added 15.

Spurs guard Tony Parker missed the game with a sore Achilles tendon. Popovich also rested two other starters in center Tiago Splitter and guard Danny Green.

That meant a rare appearance by Daye, 20 minutes for forward/center Jeff Ayres and a start for guard Cory Joseph, the third-string point guard when Parker is in the lineup.

Popovich said it was nice to be able to give those guys some playing time.

“It keeps guys in shape, too,” Popovich said.

San Antonio, which has the best record in the NBA at 54-16, took command of the game with a 19-0 run bridging the first and second quarters.

Philadelphia missed 12 straight shots during that span and failed to score in the second period until 6:19 remained in the half.

The Spurs eventually led by 21 during the quarter.

Philadelphia made a run at the Spurs in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 10. Daye then scored 11 points during the final five minutes of the period, and the lead went back to 21.

Nine of Daye’s 11 points during that span came on 3-point baskets.

The 76ers dismantled their team through trades as part of a rebuilding project. Their first-year coach, Brett Brown, was a Spurs assistant from 2006-07 through last season.

Popovich said before the game that he did not look forward to going against Brown, a long-time friend.

“Never any fun,” Popovich said.

Philadelphia was competitive recently during its defeats. But Brown said he was disappointed with the performance Monday.

“We did not play like we have been playing,” Brown said. “You want to come back here and you want your guys to play their “A’ game, whatever level that is, and we did not. Give San Antonio a lot of credit. You saw a very well-oiled machine pick us apart a lot of times. You see a system that is born out of many, many years of corporate knowledge. “

And yet, the Spurs’ leading scorer Monday was a seldom-used reserve.

“The system creates opportunity for everybody,” Brown said “And he took advantage.”

NOTES: Spurs reserve F Matt Bonner missed his second straight game with a calf injury. … Sixers G Tony Wroten also missed his second straight game, with a sprained right ankle. …The Spurs are often lauded for a system so efficient that they win games even when the team’s stars are missing. One example came Saturday, when they won at Golden State — no slouch at 44-27 — without F Tim Duncan and G Manu Ginobili. Coach Gregg Popovich kept both out of the second game when the Spurs played on consecutive nights. Earlier this season, they won at Golden State without Duncan, Ginobili and G Tony Parker on the second night of a back-to-back situation. The Warriors had all their starters the first time, but F Andre Iguodala was out on Saturday. … The Sixers extended their losing streak to 24 games last week despite being competitive in all four of their games. They trailed Indiana, Chicago twice and New York by seven points or fewer in the final few minutes.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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