NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 8th (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (36-14) at Charlotte Bobcats (22-28), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs lost their first game of the Rodeo trip last time out, but will try and get back on track Saturday night when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Spurs defeated the New Orleans Pelicans and Washington Wizards, but the Wizards victory took a toll. Tony Parker left with a back injury and that kept him out of San Antonio's 103-89 loss Thursday to the Brooklyn Nets.
Tim Duncan (rest) also sat out, along with Boris Diaw (illness), but both are expected back in the lineup Saturday. Parker is considered doubtful against Charlotte, but Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili are both still a ways away from a return.
To compound the problems, the Spurs survived double-overtime on Wednesday to best Washington.
"I'm really proud of my guys. I thought they did a great job. After the [double overtime] game last night, then to come in here tonight, I thought the effort was great," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Cory Joseph paced San Antonio with 18 points against Brooklyn, while Danny Green netted 17 points and Patty Mills registered 16 off the bench.
The Spurs had won three in a row before Thursday and will still visit the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns on the long sojourn.
The Bobcats returned home from a very successful western road trip, where they went 3-1 with victories over the Denver Nuggets, LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors and a loss against the Suns.
Charlotte's win over the Warriors ended the trip and it was the most resounding. The Bobcats left Oracle Arena with a 91-75 victory, as Al Jefferson led all scorers with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bobcats held the Warriors to a horrid 31 percent shooting and led by as many as 22 in cruising to their 22nd victory of the season, already surpassing last year's win total.
They welcomed back Kemba Walker, who missed the previous seven games with an ankle injury and chipped in seven points, seven assists and six boards Tuesday.
"We let him dictate when he came in and out," Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said of Walker's return. "Obviously he makes a big difference with our team."
Gerald Henderson also filled the stat sheet with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Charlotte, which went 4-3 with Walker out of the lineup.
The Spurs have won five in a row against the Bobcats and is 15-2 all-time in the series. San Antonio is 7-1 in Charlotte.
02/08 16:03:35 ET