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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Rodeo time for the Spurs

By Gregg Found

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
The Big 3 for the Spurs will be well-traveled the next few weeks.
Break out the cowboys hats and the...spurs…it’s the start of the San Antonio Spurs annual Rodeo Road Trip. And this one starts with the Spurs owning the best record in the NBA.

They won’t be back home for a game until February 27 -- meaning they’ll have 25 days in between home games.

A look at the NBA’s best team as they start their trip:

About those Spurs
The Spurs …

•  Are riding a 10-game win streak, their longest of the season.

• Are riding a 18-game home win streak, which they won’t get a chance to extend until February 27.

• Have the NBA’s best record by a 1 1/2-game margin over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

• Have the NBA’s best home record (22-2).

• Have the NBA’s best road record (16-9).

• Have a 20-1 record against sub-.500 teams (best in NBA); the only loss came at the New Orleans Hornets

• Are 29-1 when ahead at halftime this season (best in NBA).

Breaking down the road trip
The rodeo road trip features …

• Four games against teams with .500 or winning records and five games with sub-.500 teams.

• Four games against teams that would currently be in the postseason.

• Five teams in the Western Conference, four teams in the Eastern Conference.

• A visit through seven states (Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Illinois, Ohio, California, Arizona – not counting to/from Texas).

But the Spurs don’t mind
The Spurs have never had a losing record during a Rodeo Road Trip (which began in 2003).

They are 58-24 in those 82 games, a .707 winning percentage.

What does a .707 win percentage equate to? It would have been good enough for the third-best overall record in the West last season and second-best the season before.

Surviving Duncan’s Absence
The Spurs got a scare when Tim Duncan left Saturday’s game after getting his legs rolled up on.

As of now the injury has been called both a sprained right ankle and sprained left knee by the Spurs.

Duncan is enjoying a great season – he’ll make his 14th All-Star appearance (injury notwithstanding) after missing out last year. His PER of 24.8, if maintained, would be his highest in a season since the Spurs title-winning team of 2006-07.

But the Spurs have been fine in the few games he’s missed so far this season. They’re 5-1 in games without Duncan and 10-4 without him over the last two seasons.

If Duncan is out for a while, it will be a rarity for the reliable forward. He hasn’t missed 10 games or more since the 2004-05 season.