The San Antonio Spurs keep humming along even through injuries from two of their starting players. Pau Gasol broke a finger during pre-game warm ups while Tony Parker is still dealing with a left foot sprain. Kawhi Leonard took up the slack as he completed his fifth consecutive 30-point game of the season.
“I’m just happy that my hard work has paid off,” Leonard said. “It’s just another stepping point to my career. Hopefully, I can keep going from here.”
The Spurs hit the road for a four game road trip that will have them visit Cleveland, Brooklyn, Toronto and Ne Orleans before returning home on the 29th to face their IH-35 rival Dallas Mavericks. They will be home until the 4th of February facing Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Denver before hitting the road for a long stretch.
Franchise prepares for 33rd foray into the NBA Playoffs
–The San Antonio Spurs have distinction of being the only former ABA Team to have ever won a championship, much less five of them. Beginning Saturday night, the San Antonio Spurs will embark on their 33rd attempt to reach the pinnacle of the NBA, the battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Last night, the Spurs reserves, a lineup of Boban Marjanovic, Kyle Anderson, Danny Green, Andre Miller and Matt Bonner defeated the starting line up for the Dallas Mavericks 96-91 with Marjanovic matching a career high 22 points along with 12 boards.
Boris Diaw made his return to the court after sitting out with a minor injury the past few games. He liked what he and his teammates were able to accomplish against the A squad of the Mavericks.
“Obviously we’ve got great guys and great Hall of Fame’rs and starters, (Tim, Tony, Manu, Kawhi, LaMarcus and David West all stayed in SA) but the support cast has been doing a great job all season,” Diaw said.
“A lot of fun,” said Danny Green, the only San Antonio starter to play. “We got a chance to get the young guys out there, move the ball a little bit, push the pace, try something different. It’s always fun to win when you’ve got your old guys sitting out.”
The Chicago Bulls came into the AT&T Center needing a win to keep pace with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They ended up on the wrong end of 109-101 loss. The Pistons upset the Dallas Mavericks with a 102-96 in Big D moving a half game ahead of the Bulls.
In the Spurs victory, Tim Duncan became only the sixth player in NBA history to collect 15K rebounds, which he did midway through the 1st quarter when he received a standing ovation from the loyal Silver & Black crowd.
“I don’t know what they’re supposed to mean,” Duncan said. “They are what they are. Everybody keeps asking how does it feel. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I’ve been at it for a long time. I’m honored to be on a list with these guys and when I look back it will mean a whole lot, but right now I’m just trying to play better, trying to get healthy and trying to help the team.”
The Spurs have little time to dwell over individual accomplishments as they prepare for a hungry Oklahoma City Thunder squad taking the AT&T Center court tomorrow. The Thunder are coming off a 120-108 thrashing of the Los Angeles Clippers and face a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that has won only 20 games.
“If you’re ever going to get better, if you’re ever going to win,” Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell said, “you have to remember the times where you got your butt kicked.”