Since a four-game losing streak that briefly dropped their record to .500, the San Antonio Spurs are rolling again entering Monday’s home contest against the Atlanta Hawks. After rallying from 23 points down to beat Oklahoma City on Friday, the Spurs have won six of their past eight games and their defense continues to lead the way, ranking fourth in the NBA in points allowed and holding seven of the last eight opponents to 101 points or fewer.
“We kept a great attitude, and they just kept their minds on playing basic basketball and things turned their way,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after the comeback. The Hawks have won just three times in 16 games this season but continue to play hard, pushing Boston on Saturday before falling 110-99. “I still feel like we can make some big things happen this season,” Atlanta guard Dennis Schroder told the media after scoring 23 points against Boston. Atlanta’s only victories this season have come at Dallas, at Cleveland and a franchise-record 46-point rout of Sacramento.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE HAWKS (3-13): Rookie John Collins is enjoying a strong start to his career, averaging 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds, and he scored a career-high 18 points in the loss to Boston. Kent Bazemore ranks second in the NBA in steals per game (1.9) and is averaging 16.8 points on 50.9 percent shooting in his past five games. Schroder leads Atlanta in scoring at 20.1 points per game and shoots 88 percent from the free-throw line.
ABOUT THE SPURS (10-6): San Antonio, which has allowed fewer than 100 points per game in each of the past 22 seasons, is allowing 99.1 points in 2017-18. LaMarcus Aldridge continues to excel, averaging 22.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game after finishing with 26 points and nine rebounds against the Thunder. Pau Gasol remains a solid contributor at age 37, leading the Spurs in assists per game (3.8) and ranking second in rebounding (8.2).
1. Three of Atlanta’s past four losses have come by seven points or fewer.
2. Spurs G/F Danny Green is 8-for-19 from 3-point range in his past two games, scoring 28 points.
3. San Antonio has won its past two home games and is 7-2 on its homecourt this season.
PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Hawks 92