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- Spurs reserve shooting guard Gary Neal (42-percent career 3-point shooter, 10 point per game this season) is available for tonight’s game after missing the last two with an odd cut on his right index finger (shooting hand). Neal cut it while zipping his baggage on a road trip last week. “If it wasn’t the last finger that you touch when you shoot and when you dribble you’d put some tape on it and play,” Neal said. “It was right in the joint, and it was on that finger. You kind of couldn’t tape it, and you kind of couldn’t let the ball continue to hit it and catch passes like that, so we had to wait for the the skin to toughen up.”
- Stephen Jackson is expected to be in the Spurs starting lineup again in the place of Kawhi Leonard, who will miss at least the next week because of left knee tendonitis. Jackson had nine points and nine rebounds in his first start in place of Leonard in the Spurs’ 126-100 victory over Denver on Saturday. “He’s different,” coach Gregg Popovich said of Jackson compared to Leonard. “He plays a more physical style of defense. Kawhi’s younger and he’s got the quick feet, so he can get in the passing lanes and deny people everywhere.”
- None of the Clippers are expected to miss tonight’s game due to injury, but coach Vinny Del Negro decided to take it easier on some of the players who have been bothered by nagging injuries by not having practice yesterday or a shootaround this morning. Those with nagging bumps and bruises includes Jamal Crawford (back), Caron Butler (shoulder), and Ryan Hollins (ankle). “Nothing major,” Del Negro said. “It’s a long season and we’ve got a couple of guys banged up a little bit so we wanted to get them some rest. It’s a long road trip for us, so hopefully we can start it off right tonight.”
- Though the Clippers have lost 28 of the last 30 games played in San Antonio, L.A. did win 120-108 in San Antonio last season. This is the first of four-straight road games for the Clippers, and each of the opponents (Oklahoma City, Brooklyn and Atlanta) is playing .500-or-better basketball heading into tonight.
- DeJuan Blair will make his third-straight start tonight at center. In the Spurs’ 26-point win in the last out against Denver, Blair played 22 1/2 minutes and was 7-for-10 from the floor with eight rebounds and 19 points for his best game of the season. This figures to be a tougher assignment because the last time these teams played on Nov. 7 Blake Griffin scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, while DeAndre Jordan went 10-for-12 from the floor for 20 points and 11 rebounds.
– Tim Price