SPURS AT NUGGETS, 10:30 P.M. ET

TV: ESPN

  • San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said five-time All-Star guard Tony Parker will not play due to a sore neck and forward Boris Diaw (sore back) will miss a couple of weeks. The Spurs were already without guard Manu Ginobili (strained right hamstring) and guard Stephen Jackson did not make the trip due to a sprained right ankle. Popovich said he didn’t want to play Parker because health is more important in the playoffs. “I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent thrilled, but at this point I’m a little paranoid with Manu being out and losing Boris for the next two to three weeks,” Popovich said. “I’m not going to have the guy who’s played the way he’s played all year not ready for the playoffs. If I can get him a little bit more rest that will be in order.” Nando De Colo will start at the point and Cory Joseph will serve as his backup.
  • The Nuggets are dealing with health issues of their own. Point guard Ty Lawson practiced with the team Tuesday and went through shootaround Wednesday but he won’t be playing. Lawson has missed seven of the last eight games, including the last four, with a strained right heel and a tear in the plantar fascia in his right foot. Denver coach George Karl said Lawson could play Friday in Dallas. “What I’ve explained to Ty is I want to see more of a progression,” Karl said. “One practice doesn’t give me a good feel, today’s shootaround (was) a little bit better. Let’s make tomorrow a little bit better and the next day a little bit better and be ready to go in Dallas.” The Nuggets hope Lawson can play in two or three of the final four games heading into the playoffs.”
  • Karl commented on winning the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, which is awarded by the Pro Basketball Writers Association to a coach who combines excellence on the court with cooperation with the media and fans. When Karl was told it was given in part for a coach being “loquacious and illuminating,” he poked fun at himself. “I’m glad you guys think I’m loquacious and illuminating. I probably speak far too much around you anyway,” he said. “I understand (the media) is part of the process. Instead of fighting it and trying to trick you and hide, I try to be as transparent as possible.”
  • The Nuggets are going for a franchise record 21st straight home win. They tied the record, set in 1985, in Saturday’s win over Houston.

– Michael Kelly

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