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- For the second time this season, after reaching an 11-game winning streak, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will rest key players. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili did not make the trip to Utah for tonight’s game. “Well, we’re trying to survive,” Popovich said. “Our schedule speaks for itself. If you look at the schedule, you figure out real quickly. No matter how look at it (five games in seven nights this week), eight games in 13 nights, 16 games in 23 days, it’s just crazy, so I got to do something about it. It just doesn’t make sense to have those guys playing four times in five nights, or three in a row.”
- The last time the Spurs had an 11-game winning streak, Popovich sat Duncan and Parker and San Antonio lost at Portland, 137-97. Tonight, San Antonio, which defeated Utah 114-104 on Sunday, will start Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, DeJuan Blair, Danny Green and Patty Mills. Blair did not play against the Jazz on Sunday.
- While the Spurs are sitting their three best players, not all news is good for the Jazz. Injuries suffered by C.J. Miles and Earl Watson at San Antonio on Sunday turned out to be serious and costly. Miles, who had an MRI today, suffered a left calf strain and will be reevaluated in a week. Watson also had an MRI on his right knee today and it revealed a torn medial meniscus. Watson will need surgery and is out indefinitely. “It’s unfortunate,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “They’ve been great for us all year and we’re really going to miss them. We’ll support them fully and hopefully they can recover quickly.”
- DeMarre Carroll will start in place of Miles, and rookie Alec Burks will likely get more playing time.
- The Jazz are incredibly thin in wing depth now that Miles joins injured players Raja Bell and Josh Howard on the sidelines. To help, they have signed Blake Ahearn to a 10-day contract. Ahearn is a five-year veteran of the NBA Development League and has appeared in 15 career NBA games with San Antonio and Miami.
- Corbin said he isn’t concerned or rejoicing that San Antonio will be without Parker, Duncan and Ginobili tonight. “We can’t worry about that,” he said. “We have to play. We can’t afford to think that because some guys are out of the lineup we can just show up and win the game.”
- Popovich was in a joking mood in his pregame meeting with the media. When asked who did not make the trip for tonight’s game, he said, “George Gervin. David Robinson.”
– Andrew Aragon