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No mercy for sliding Sixers

Updated: 2014-03-26 08:34
By Associated Press in San Antonio ( China Daily)

The San Antonio Spurs knew the Philadelphia 76ers were coming in on a long losing streak.

They had no intentions of taking it easy on them.

Austin Daye had 22 points and Tim Duncan added 19 as the Spurs earned their 14th straight win with a 113-91 victory on Monday night that sent the 76ers to their 25th consecutive loss.

Philadelphia will face Houston on Thursday with the dubious distinction of being a loss shy of tying the NBA record for consecutive losses set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010-11.

Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he felt terrible for former assistant Brett Brown, now the 76ers' coach. But he added he did not feel sorry for "one of my best friends", because pity would upset his former protg.

"Obviously, it is a rough season for them," Duncan said. "It is a rebuilding season for them. (Brown) knows that, they know that. They have a lot of young guys. He is just trying to get the system in place that has them playing the way he wants them playing. It is a process. He knows that."

Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills scored 15 points each and Cory Joseph added 12 for San Antonio, which maintained the league's best record at 54-16.

The Spurs did not play starters Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green, but did not need them against the lowly 76ers.

Daye, who was averaging 2.3 minutes while playing in only four games since being acquired from Toronto on Feb 20, finished 6-for-10 on 3-pointers and had six rebounds in 29 minutes. It was familiar to Brown, who served as an assistant under Popovich for seven seasons.

"He is lucky," Brown said, "and I have seen this over so many years - people can come into that system and shine.

"This system creates opportunities for everybody, and he took advantage of those. The attention you have to give others and the movement that they have in their structure allowed him to get freed up a lot.

"He reaped the benefit of playing in that system. It felt like they were running 100 miles per hour out there," Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young said of San Antonio.

"They were moving and passing and cutting, but that is a sign of a team who has been together for a few years and has been a championship contending team each and every year."

(China Daily 03/26/2014 page23)