• Manu Ginobili will miss tonight’s game for the Spurs (27-8) with a tight hamstring. He grabbed it after making the game-winning shot on a layup last night at Memphis. “I think it’s probably just for tonight. When someone says their hamstring is tight and asks to come off the court and it’s Manu Ginobili, you don’t take any chances,” coach Gregg Popovich said.
  • Shawn Marion (shoulder contusion) is out tonight and could miss another game or two for the Mavericks (20-15). He tripped over his own teammate, Dirk Nowitzki, in the second quarter of last night’s home win over the Lakers and did not make the trip. “He’s banged up, in an uncomfortable state right now, but there was nothing serious from the diagnostics tests,” coach Rick Carlisle said. Wayne Ellington started the second half last night in Marion’s spot.
  • Popovich will shuffle the rotation since the bench will miss a spark with Ginobili out. Danny Green goes back into the starting lineup and Marco Belinelli, who has started the last eight games at off-guard, returns to a reserve role. “We’ll have another ball-handler (Belinelli) with that second team,” Popovich said. “It lets Danny play with Tony (Parker).”
  • The switch in the Spurs’ starting lineup wasn’t good news for Carlisle: “Green has been whacking us every time we play them.” He scored 22 points the last time the teams played when San Antonio won 116-107 on December 26 in Dallas. Green came off the bench that night, played 27 minutes, was 7-for-7 from the floor (five 3-pointers) and scored 22 points.
  • Samuel Dalembert stands to see an increase in playing time with Marion out. After missing a practice, Dalembert was benched two games back in a homecourt loss to the Knicks and played 13 minutes last night.
  • The Spurs will be without Tiago Splitter for the second night because of a right shoulder sprain that is expected to keep him out at least three weeks. Jeff Ayers started for him last night (2 points, 3 rebounds, 22 minutes) and will do so again tonight. The Spurs are not expected to sign anyone while Splitter is out. “We’ll play with what we have,” Popovich said.

Tim Price

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