Show & Prove: Running the Gauntlet

The San Antonio Spurs entered their Friday night contest against the Golden Sate Warriors sitting at 7th place in the Western Conference standings. Despite a recent upswing in their on the court mojo, the Spurs have been unable to gain much ground in the ultra-competitive West, but don't tell that to the Warriors. San Antonio never trailed in the 147-116 rout, scoring 41 points in the first quarter, and leading by as many as 40 points in the second half.

After the game, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili looked ahead to the last 15 games on the team's schedule including a crucial gauntlet against the Hawks, Thunder, Lakers, Cavaliers, and Celtics. "We basically have the tough 15," said Ginobili, who paced the Spurs with 23 points and 11 assists. "The last 15 games are going to be rough. It's good to get a win and have time to rest a little bit. We have a really rough back-to-back coming up in Atlanta and Oklahoma City. They are both good teams, strong at home so we are going to have to do very good against them."

First up are the young Hawks with All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford, not to mention the explosive Josh Smith. Atlanta currently sits at 4th place in the Eastern Conference and presents an athletic challenge for a Spurs squad playing without quarterback Tony Parker who is still recovering from a hand injury. Sophomore point guard George Hill has filled in exceptionally well in Parker's absence, but this critical five stretch against quality opponents could very well make or break San Antonio's season. Tip-off time is at 7:00 pm.

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