Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were sidelined for San Antonio’s game at Chicago on Monday night, leaving the Spurs without their three biggest stars.
Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in the Spurs’ 111-86 victory at Brooklyn on Sunday night, but coach Gregg Popovich said his right knee became swollen during the game. Parker is having an MVP-type of season, averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 assists per game.
”I’m not going to chance it with three (games) in four nights and a back-to-back and what he’s been doing for us,” Popovich said. ”It’s kind of ignorant to say `That’s OK, go out there anyway.”’
With Parker out, rookie guard Nando De Colo was slated for his second career start.
Duncan missed his fourth straight game due to a sore left knee. Ginobili was out for the fifth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring.
The Spurs also played without Stephen Jackson. The reason provided was by the team was ”personal business.”
San Antonio began the day with an NBA-best 40-12 record. After facing the Bulls, the Spurs travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break.
Popovich could sit all three stars against the Cavs to get them some extra rest with the break, but he didn’t want to speculate about their availability for that game at this point.