The Sixers record is now 27-22.
The Spurs (33-14) are a team that brings out the worst in the Sixers, having now beaten the them seven straight times in the Alamo City.
They spread the floor, get you in middle pick and roll and just put you in a bind the whole night, Sixers coach Doug Collins said of the Spurs. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- you cant keep them out of the paint and they had 27 points off turnovers. Thats the game. We normally turn the ball over 11 times a game and we turned it over 21 times.
Parker led all scorers with 21 points and seven assists, while Ginobili came off the bench to contribute 11 points and five assists.
I thought they sped us up, Collins continued. I give their defense credit. They stripped us around the basket six or seven times, and once it started going south we just couldnt get it stopped.
San Antonio came up with 15 steals.
Turnovers really hurt us, said Elton Brand, who had four of the Sixers' 21 turnovers, but also scored a team-high 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Every time we turned it over they made us pay.
The Sixers played without Andre Iguodala, who sat out because of left patella tendonitis, for the first time this season. Without Iguodala, the Sixers were down a ball handler as well as their best three-point shooter. Collins felt that had his team playing in a "phone booth."
He gets easy shots for everybody, Brand said of Iguodala. His defensive presence was certainly missed and hopefully everything works out with his knee.
At shoot around, his knee was a little sore, and then when we were doing film I said, 'Wheres Dre?' and team trainer Kevin Johnson said the doctor is looking at his knee, Collins said. "I talked to him and asked how he felt and he said it hurts a bit and then I said your not going to play.
By sitting, Iguodala will get two full days of rest ahead of the Sixers' next game. Collins is assuming he will then be ready to play against Cleveland on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Iguodala missed 15 games last season with tendonitis in his right knee, so he is familiar with the injury.
Speaking of injury, Spencer Hawes, who has appeared in six of the last seven games after missing 27 of the previous 29 with a strained Achilles, continued to look out of sync with his game. He had six points, six rebounds and four assists, but often looked frustrated. His emotions seem to be getting the better of him.
Spencer is not playing well, and when he is out of sync he gets upset, Collins said. I told him we cant go there. I thought we started complaining too much to the officials and we were getting distracted and I said, 'Guys, stop it.' It is that time of the year when everybody is little tired and on edge a little bit.
We have to be able to play through the post, Collins continued. "Spencer is too valuable to us and we just have to get him back in sync.
I am not a guy who hides my emotions, Hawes admitted. When I am frustrated I show it. For me there is a fine line, what drives me is the same thing that can get me out of focus a little bit.
Hawes reiterated that physically he feels fine and he is hopeful that by the middle of this week all restrictions regarding his playing time will be lifted. He played 27 minutes against the Spurs, which was the same he played against Boston on Friday.
The one thing in question is Hawes' ability to play on back-to-back nights. The Sixers are at Washington on Friday and home with Atlanta Saturday.