NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 19th (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (39-15) at Portland Trail Blazers (36-17), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs continue their Rodeo road trip Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, as two teams missing All- Stars do battle.
Tony Parker of the Spurs will be out "for the foreseeable future," as per head coach Gregg Popovich's assessment hours before the club's first game following the All-Star break.
"He doesn't have a pulled hamstring or anything, but he's got a lot of little things," Popovich said. "Basically a lot of basketball the last three years, all season long, all summer long."
For the Blazers, All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be shelved for a week with a left groin strain.
Those absences are huge, but Wednesday's tilt is still a battle of two of the Western Conference's best.
The Spurs showed their championship pedigree Tuesday night with a 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.
Patty Mills saw extended minutes due to the absence of Parker and scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. Mills filled in for the All-Star admirably and also got help from last weekend's three-point champion, Marco Belinelli (20 points) and Tim Duncan, who flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, 13 boards and seven assists.
"What Patty gave us tonight is what he's been doing all year. As a team I was really proud of our effort," said Popovich.
Manu Ginobili returned from a two-week injury stint and managed nine points in just under 15 minutes.
The Spurs will wrap up this long road trip Friday in Phoenix.
Portland dropped two straight prior to the All-Star break, although anyone could understand. The Blazers fell at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, then lost in LA to the Clippers.
Aldridge had 25 points, one of six Blazers in double figures, while Damian Lillard went 8-of-12 from the field and finished with 21 points. The two combined for 13 points in the All-Star game Sunday night.
Portland has lost six of nine.
"We definitely wanted to be on better terms going into the break," Aldridge said.
The Blazers have a chance to get things going in the right direction, even with Aldridge sidelined for a week.
Portland has seven of its next eight at home and of the Blazers next eight, only the Spurs on Wednesday have a winning record.
The Blazers won both of this season's matchups against the Spurs, including a 10-point victory in Portland on Nov. 2. The Blazers have won four straight against San Antonio and nine of their last 10 at home in this series.
02/19 10:31:15 ET