Nene and the Wizards are now 1-3 on their five-game road trip with finale Monday in New Orleans. (Eric Gay/Associated Press)

If there was ever a time for the Washington Wizards to snap a 15-year losing streak in San Antonio, it sure felt like it would come Saturday night. The defending champions were without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker because of injury and, at 20-14 and coming off their first losing month in 16 years, seemed ripe for the taking.

But the Spurs, who last lost to the Wizards here when Tim Duncan was just 23, showed they are still one of the deepest teams in the league, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 101-92 win. The result left the Wizards 1-3 on their five-game trip that wraps up Monday in New Orleans.

The Wizards last escaped San Antonio victorious on Dec. 11, 1999, when Mitch Richmond paced Washington with 31 points in a 99-89 win in the Alamodome. Saturday, the Wizards (22-11) led by seven midway through the third quarter at the AT&T Center, but for the second straight night, after Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted them in the waning moments Friday, the Wizards were unable to make the necessary plays down the stretch.

Poor shot selection, untimely turnovers, including a shot-clock violation with two minutes remaining, and defensive mishaps sabotaged Washington as San Antonio closed with a 35-19 run.

“In a game like this, where it’s tied, those little breakdowns kill you,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “We had too many of those tonight. This team will make you pay if you make mistakes like that.”

The Post Sports Live crew debate whether the Wizards can prove they are Eastern Conference title material with wins on a tough five-game road trip against top Western Conference teams. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Washington, which made defense a staple of its best start in 36 years, has allowed four straight opponents to reach triple digits. After winning the opener to its brutal five-game road trek in Houston, Washington has its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Five Wizards reached double-digits in scoring. The back-court duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal headed the charge with 15 points each. Wall added eight assists as Washington committed just nine turnovers but was outrebounded (38-31) and outscored in the paint (52-32).

Without Leonard (hand) and Parker (hamstring), the Spurs had six players reach double figures. Cory Joseph and Patty Mills, Parker’s two backups at point guard, combined to score 34 points on 14-for-18 shooting. Tiago Splitter added 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting while Duncan was held to just four points and six rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 55.1 percent from the floor.

“It was similar to last night, but they made the hustle plays, they got the 50-50 balls,” Wall said. “You look at the stat sheet, we did everything right. We just have to learn how to get on the level of these last two team we played are on of executing and having guys make those big plays and those big shots.”

Defense was optional for both teams in the first quarter and neither offered much. The Wizards didn’t commit a turnover and shot 16-for-24 from the floor to erupt for 35 points in the period - the most they’ve scored in a first quarter this season.

Wall, held to two points in the first half against the Thunder on Friday, was more aggressive immediately. The point guard, usually a facilitator first, sought his own shot and created chances with midrange jumpers and floaters.

But the Spurs were just as torrid with Coach Gregg Popovich substituting entire lineups at a time, hockey-style. San Antonio shot 13-for-20 (65 percent) and Mills did the heavy lifting, netting 10 points off the bench, but the Wizards led, 35-31, after a quarter.

Marcin Gortat is one of six Wizards in double figures (12 points) as Washington falls despite shootign 49 percent. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports)

The Wizards then received an unforeseen boost from two bench players. Otto Porter Jr. had seen his playing time drop to eight garbage-time minutes Wednesday and not a single second Friday because of Martell Webster’s insertion into the rotation after missing the season’s first 30 games recovering from back surgery. But he reclaimed his spot in the rotation for at least one night and made an immediate impact.

The second-year forward tallied 11 points in 29 minutes and his solid play allowed Paul Pierce to play just 17 minutes — a welcomed workload for the 37-year-old on the second game of a back-to-back. Kevin Seraphin, who struggled mightily on both ends of the floor in Oklahoma, added 11 points to head a strong effort from Washington’s reserves and was on the floor in crunch time.

The second unit was able to expand the Wizards’ lead to eight points twice but San Antonio, led by Parker’s replacement in the starting lineup Joseph, charged back. Joseph, who played through an illness, registered 13 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter. He capped off the breakout quarter with a jumper as the buzzer sounded to tie the game 58 at the intermission.

“In this stretch, we’ve lost a couple of things from a defensive standpoint that we have to get back, in terms of helping one another,” Wittman said. “We just haven’t had enough practice time to clean it up. We have to get those things back.”

The Wizards, however, created some cushion in the third quarter only to have the Spurs rally back. Wall’s layup with 5:33 left in the period put the Wizards ahead by seven but San Antonio, fueled by six straight points from Boris Diaw, concluded the quarter on a 12-4 run to take a 78-77 advantage into the fourth.

The Spurs then locked Washington down over the final 12 minutes, limiting the Wizards to 15 points in the final period as Washington watched another game get away and its misery in South Texas continue.

“They executed. We didn’t,” Wizards center Marcin Gortat said. “It was just bad. It was just tough. We were right there and at the end and we ended up losing. It’s depressing.”