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Old 04-13-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Talking Spurs-Warriors Preview - 4/13/09

Spurs-Warriors Preview

Coming off a vital - if controversial - victory as they jockey for seeding in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs are hoping they won't need any last-second heroics on Monday night.

Tim Duncan will return to the lineup after taking a night off when the banged-up Spurs visit the Golden State Warriors, with San Antonio still seeking a Southwest Division title with two games left in the regular season.

As they prepare for a postseason without Manu Ginobili, the Spurs (52-28) could certainly use home-court advantage in at least the first round, and Sunday night's 95-92 win at Sacramento was a major boost.

With Duncan in street clothes resting his sore knees, Michael Finley broke a tie with a 3-pointer in the final seconds for San Antonio. The basket stood despite the fact that the shot clock appeared to have expired, as the play was deemed unreviewable and the Spurs were given the victory.

Even San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich admitted his team caught a break.

``I looked on the film, and it looked like it was still in his hand (when the shot clock expired),'' Popovich said. ``I didn't study it, but I looked real quickly, and it looked like it was still in his hands.''

The Spurs' frontcourt was depleted without Duncan, so Tony Parker carried the load against the Kings with 25 points and nine assists, while fellow guard Roger Mason added 22 points.

The win pulled San Antonio into a three-way tie for third place in the West, with division rival Houston and Portland also at 52-28. Second-place Denver is just one game ahead as first-round matchups remain very much in limbo going into the final three days of the regular season.

The Spurs will at least hope to benefit from the return of Duncan on Monday. The former league MVP has been missing time sporadically due to his knees, and he has struggled lately, averaging 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last four starts.

He will need to be ready to run with the fast-paced Warriors, who've won four of six as they near the end of a disappointing season.

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