Back to keep Tony Parker sidelined
The Spurs' leading scorer is dealing with back spasms and will not travel on a two-game trip that begins with Tuesday night's rescheduled game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
San Antonio (60-17) is 4½ games ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference with six games left for the Thunder, who play in Sacramento on Tuesday night. A win and an OKC loss would clinch the NBA's best record for the Spurs.
San Antonio, however, will play without Parker after he was forced to leave in the first quarter of Sunday's 112-92 win over Memphis, the team's first after a franchise-best 19-game win streak was snapped Thursday. According to the team's website, he had an MRI on Monday that showed a sprained facet joint on his left side and will be considered day to day when the Spurs return from their trip.
"We just have to hope it's a couple-of-days thing," Ginobili said. "Of course, we're a different team without him. We need him healthy and strong for the playoffs."
The Spurs weren't originally slated to visit Minnesota this season. That "home" game for the Timberwolves was scheduled to take place in Mexico City on Dec. 4, but was postponed because of smoke in the arena, caused by a fire in the generator room.
San Antonio has won both matchups this season, and Parker's 29 points helped it earn a 117-110 victory Dec. 13. The Spurs got a little more balanced scoring in a 104-86 victory Jan. 12 with Leonard providing a team-leading 17 points and Parker among six players in double figures with 14.