SAN ANTONIO -- Players joked it was for ambiance, but maybe the dimness in the locker room before and after Friday night's 136-105 loss to the Houston Rockets symbolized the dark times the San Antonio Spurs have entered.
A 39-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, coupled with Friday's debacle, gives the Spurs defeats by margins of 30 points or more in back-to-back outings for the first time in Gregg Popovich's tenure as coach. The loss also dropped the Spurs to 14th place in the Western Conference standings.
"Guys feel embarrassed, and deflated, and rightfully so," guard Patty Mills said. "It's the big picture. It's who we represent when we put thee jerseys on. It's who we play for. It's much bigger than that, and we need to understand that we are here just for a short time amongst this organization that will be here for a lot longer than we are. We've got to take pride in that."
The last time San Antonio ranked in the bottom two spots in the conference standings this late in a season (20 games or more) was the end of the 1996-97 campaign, which led to the Spurs selecting Tim Duncan with the first pick of the 1997 NBA draft.