Warriors-Spurs Preview

If their most recent game was any indication, the San Antonio

Spurs could be in for a long road ahead without the services of

Manu Ginobili.

Hoping to overcome the absence of its leading scorer, San

Antonio looks for a 27th consecutive home victory over the Golden

State Warriors on Wednesday night.

The Spurs (3-2) suffered a huge blow when Ginobili fractured the

fifth metacarpal on his shooting hand in the second quarter of

Monday’s 106-96 loss at Minnesota. The two-time All-Star was

averaging 17.4 points on 59.2 percent shooting, had gone 14 of 27

(51.9 percent) from 3-point range and had missed just one of his 16

free-throw attempts. There is no timetable for his return.

“It’s going to be tough for us because he was playing at an

All-Star level,” point guard Tony Parker said. “And now we’re going

to have to have everybody pick it up.”

San Antonio dropped all three games in which Ginobili missed

last season, including Game 1 of its first-round playoff series

with Memphis.

“Manu is pretty important to us and we lost him,” coach Gregg

Popovich said. “We’ll just have to deal with it.”

Swingman James Anderson, in his second season in the league, is

likely to see a boost in playing time while Kawhi Leonard – the

15th overall pick in June’s draft – could also see more action.

“Ginobili means a lot to the team,” Anderson said. “He’s one of

the biggest plusses to the team. Without him we lose a lot of

stuff, and that’s on both ends.”

Ginobili’s injury could open the door for Golden State (2-3) to

end its 26-game losing streak at San Antonio, the longest active

road skid by one team versus another.

The Warriors, who have been outscored by an average of 17.8

points during that skid, have lost 12 straight in the series

overall. Ginobili averaged 21.8 points – 4.4 more than his season

mark – in four matchups in 2010-11.

After splitting its first four home games, Golden State fell

102-91 to Phoenix on Monday in its first road contest. The Warriors

shot a season-high 50.0 percent but were outrebounded 49-36 and

committed a season-worst 17 turnovers.

“You shoot 50 percent on the road, you should come out ahead

with a win,” coach Mark Jackson said. “You put teams on the foul

line, turn the basketball over and give up 16 offensive rebounds,

it’s a recipe for disaster.

“I understand this is a process but this is a 66-game season and

we need to speed up the process. I will find guys that are playing

well, competing and executing the game plan and if that means

playing five guys 48 minutes, I will.”

Monta Ellis returned following a one-game absence to attend his

grandmother’s funeral, scoring 18 points to go along with a

season-high 11 assists. The Warriors, though, were without forward

David Lee, who was a late scratch after being hospitalized earlier

that day with an undetermined illness.

Lee, averaging 18.8 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds, is

uncertain for Wednesday.

The Warriors’ last win at San Antonio was 108-94 on Feb. 14

1997, and this is their only trip to the AT&T Center due to the

lockout-shortened schedule.

The Spurs are looking to open 4-0 at home for the second time in

three seasons.