Sore Spurs: Parker, Ginobili, Duncan all sidelined

Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are all injured, and

the San Antonio Spurs don’t know when they’ll be back.

The NBA’s winningest team is also without veteran Antonio

McDyess, out with a sore back, and it all comes with nine games

left in a season that has seen the Spurs coast in near-perfect

health.

All four starters were out for Monday night’s game against

Portland.

The Spurs hosted the Trail Blazers on a three-game skid, their

longest all season. Richard Jefferson was the only starter left in

the lineup.

In the case of McDyess, at least, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was

being cautious with the playoffs imminent.

”Money time is approaching,” Popovich said.

San Antonio’s next game is Thursday against Boston. Popovich

hinted that Parker (left knee contusion) could return by then, but

said the timetable for Ginobili (left quad contusion) and Duncan

remains unknown.

Duncan has been out since spraining his left ankle last week in

a victory over Golden State. He didn’t travel with the Spurs on

their three-game road trip to Denver, Portland and Memphis.

San Antonio left each city with a loss. It’s just the third time

the Spurs (57-16) have lost consecutive games during what has so

far been the best regular season in franchise history.

Ginobili (17.8 points per game), Parker (17.5), and Duncan

(13.1) are San Antonio’s three leading scorers.

The Spurs began Monday night with a four-game lead over the Los

Angeles Lakers for first place in the Western Conference. San

Antonio has kept a healthy lead for the No. 1 seed most of the

season, but the surging Lakers already moved three games closer in

the past week.