The Wizards begin their season-high six-game road trip on Monday in a place where they haven’t won this millennium. Since Mitch Ritchmond and Tracy Murray teamed up to lead them to a 99-89 victory over the then-defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 11, 1999, the Wizards have lost 11 consecutive games in the Alamo City.
The Spurs have thumped the Wizards at Alamodome and the AT&T Center (which was also known as SBC Center), dominated them with the Twin Towers in Tim Duncan and David Robinson, and with the Big Three in Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
The Wizards have brought both lottery teams and playoff teams to town, but the result has been the same, and the 11-game road skid in San Antonio is the longest against one opponent. They have lost seven in a row in Indiana and New York.
Richmond scored a game-high 31 points and Murray had 13 fourth-quarter points in that stunning win more than 12 years ago – on a night when Gerald King received his championship ring in a pre-game ceremony. The victory was also, oddly enough, the Wizards’ fourth in a row in San Antonio.
After that loss, the Spurs responded with a resounding 102-78 romp the next season, as Duncan had 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Since then, Duncan hasn’t had to score much but the Spurs have routinely thrashed the Wizards at home, winning by at least 20 points six more times.
On Nov. 12, 2005, the Wizards dominated the then-defending champion Spurs, 110-95, at Verizon Center and arrived in San Antonio with some confidence for the rematch in April. With Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler combining for 78 points, the Wizards were actually tied with San Antonio until Tony Parker hit a jumper with about three minutes remaining and the Spurs went on to win 106-99.
The Wizards lost 94-80 at AT&T Center last season and have lost 11 consecutive games overall against the Spurs – by an average of 18 points per game. So they face a daunting task against a Spurs team that has the second-best record in the Western Conference (26-13).
Though they have already matched their road win total from last season with three victories, the Wizards still have the third-worst road record in the NBA, trailing Charlotte and Detroit. And they have also lost four in a row away from Verizon Center since claiming back-to-back road wins over Detroit and Portland.
The Wizards (9-30) will face four teams with winning records on this trip, including Dallas, Atlanta and Memphis. But they also face two of the worst home teams in the NBA. New Jersey and New Orleans are tied for the second-fewest home wins with just four.