02-24-2009, 03:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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The San Antonio Spurs have been without reigning sixth man of the year Manu Ginobili since the All-Star break, while the Dallas Mavericks have gone two weeks without their own star sub, Jason Terry.
Neither team, however, seemed to miss its top reserve in its last game.
The Spurs return to play at the AT&T Center for the first time this month as the Southwest Division rivals square off Tuesday night.
Ginobili, who missed San Antonio's first 12 games of 2008-09 following offseason surgery on his left ankle, is now expected to miss about two more weeks with a right ankle injury.
Terry, leading the league with 20.0 points per game off the bench, is also expected to miss several more weeks to recover from surgery on his left hand.
The Mavericks (33-22) got more than enough offense without Terry on Saturday night, when they routed Sacramento 116-95. They led 70-50 at halftime, enabling coach Rick Carlisle to turn to his bench early.
Brandon Bass had a season-high 20 points and fellow reserve James Singleton added a season-high 19 points with 12 rebounds as Dallas won for the third time in the five games of Terry's absence..
"We just thought it was a good opportunity to let it ride with those guys," Carlisle said of his bench. "They had a good rhythm. They were defending and they were scoring."
The division-leading Spurs (37-17) also got much of their offense from an unfamiliar source Saturday. Roger Mason scored 25 points in a 98-67 blowout of Washington as San Antonio improved to 8-8 without Ginobili this season.
Mason, who spent the last two seasons with the Wizards, went 9-for-15 from the field - including 5-for-9 from 3-point range - while Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were held to 12 and nine points, respectively.
"I think I would have made a big impact (with the Wizards). Who's to say?" Mason said. "You never know. That's just the confidence I have. I'm just glad I made an impact on this team."
The Spurs' win capped 10,761 miles of travel over 19 days while their home court was occupied by the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. San Antonio, which last played at the AT&T Center on Jan. 31, went 5-3 on the trip.