The Nets have beaten the San Antonio Spurs just once in their last 21 tries, in 2010, the year they ended the season 12-70. But luck may be on their side tonight.
The Spurs will be without star point guard Tony Parker, who left the Spurs’ Wednesday night game against the Washington Wizards with back tightness. Parker joins Manu Ginobili (left hamstring) and Kawhi Leonard (broken finger) on the Spurs injury list. The Spurs were 32-10 at the time Leonard went down, and 4-3 since.
Additionally, the Spurs will rest Tim Duncan, marking the first time since Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker joined the Spurs that the Nets will face them with all three out.
To give you an idea of how long it’s been: the last time the Nets faced a Spurs team without any of the three playing was on January 22, 1997, and the Spurs got 13 assists from some point guard named Avery Johnson. The Nets won, 103-95.
With the Spurs struggling with bodies going down, the Nets will return three of their injured rotation players tonight. According to reports from the team’s shootaround this morning, forward Andrei Kirilenko, center Andray Blatche, and guard Joe Johnson all returned to team practice Wednesday and, barring an unforeseen setback, will re-join the Nets rotation after fighting various injuries. Kirilenko has missed the last three games with a sore left calf, Blatche the last two with a bruised hip, Johnson the last one with knee tendinitis.