- The Spurs will be resting plenty of key players, above and beyond the Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who did not make the road trip. Small forward Kawhi Leonard won’t play for San Antonio, which will plug James Anderson into the lineup alongside Patty Mills, Danny Green, Boris Diaw and DeJuan Blair. Other key contributors will be limited in minutes, so don’t expect to see a lot of players such as Green and Matt Bonner.
- San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich also stayed home from this trip, placing lead assistant Mike Budenholzer at the controls. Budenholzer, who received the game ball from Spurs players after San Antonio’s 110-106 win in Phoenix on Wednesday, is most concerned about making sure his players come out injury-free in preparation for a first-round playoff series against Utah. “We don’t want to overplay anybody,” Budenholzer said. “There’s a lot of (factors) other than just trying to win on a day like today. And ordinarily it’s Pop stressing out over those things and we get to chip in our 2 cents.”
- The stakes in this game, such as they are, revolve around Golden State’s pursuit of the seventh slot in the 2012 draft. If the Warriors — losers of 15 of their last 18 — come out with a defeat, they’ll be guaranteed a coin flip with Toronto for the No. 7 draft slot. That’s critical to Golden State because if the pick is eighth or worse after the draft lottery, it must be conveyed to Utah to complete the Marcus Williams trade of 2008. Losing to the Spurs and winning that coin flip would increase the Warriors’ chances of keeping the pick from slightly above 10 percent to almost 75 percent.
– Geoff Lepper