WIZARDS AT SPURS, 8:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Tony Parker will return to the starting lineup after missing one game due to a right quadriceps strain. The Spurs (26-13) lost that one 120-108 to the Clippers and are 0-2 without Parker this season.
  • Manu Ginobili will start for the first time since January 2, when he fractured a bone in his left hand and required surgery. He has played in seven games since then coming off the bench. He’s coming off his best game since being injured, playing 28 minutes and scoring 22 points (4-of-6 from the 3-point line) Friday against the Clippers.
  • The retirement announcement today by T.J. Ford has the team looking to Gary Neal as the primary option at backup point guard. Ford, who missed the entire 2004-05 season with a spinal contusion, suffered a stinger last week and had difficulty walking off the floor. “He’s making a good decision,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “It was scary situation for him and his family the other night. It was the only decision to be made under the circumstances. We’re going to miss him. He was becoming a significant part of what we were planning to do. The players really respected him. I respected him. We’ve got to shift gears. We’ve got to get a consistency and rhythm.”
  • Ford said playing only about half of the last two seasons at Indiana aided him in making the retirement decision. “It was a good run for me,” Ford said. “I had a successful basketball career at each level. What happened there in Indiana pretty much prepared me to be at peace with today. (The Spurs) felt like I had a lot of basketball left, which I did also.”
  • Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he’s hopeful Rony Turiaf will come back from his fractured left hand at some point during this road trip, a six-gamer that ends March 21 in New Jersey. Rashard Lewis will miss his seventh-straight game because of a  sore left knee, and Wittman had no timetable for a return.
  • Tim Duncan needs three more points to pass Clyde Drexler for 25th on the all-time scoring list.

Tim Price

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