Spurs missing Duncan, Parker from lineup vs. Lakers

Updated: December 13, 2007, 9:58 PM ET
Associated Press

Tony Parker

Parker

Tim Duncan

Duncan

LOS ANGELES -- The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs were to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night without stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Duncan, averaging 17.6 points and 8.9 rebounds, was to sit out his fourth straight game because of a sprained right ankle. Parker, averaging 20.1 points and 6.8 assists, was to miss his first game of the season with a sprained left ankle.

Coach Gregg Popovich said Duncan might return to action Saturday night when the Spurs play the Denver Nuggets, but Parker will probably be out a little longer.

"Tony's been laboring for two, three games with his foot,'' Popovich said. "I just had to make the call that he sits. It's real sore. He can't plant and spin. It's not going to heal unless he sits.''

Team spokesman Tom James said Parker was injured about a week ago but continued to play. James said both players might return Saturday night.

Duncan has sat out only two games in each of the last two seasons. Parker has played in 492 games while missing just 22 in his six-plus seasons with the Spurs.

"It's a little disappointing," 20-year-old Lakers center Andrew Bynum said of Duncan's absence. "I always like to play against Duncan. It's a good test of where I'm at."

Bynum was coming off a 20-point, 11-rebound performance in the Lakers' 123-113 victory over Golden State last Sunday night.

The Spurs entered with a 17-4 record -- second-best in the NBA. Coming off a 96-84 loss at Golden State, they were facing the possibility of their first two-game losing streak of the season.

The Spurs entered having won 10 of the last 13 games against the Lakers including a 107-92 victory Nov. 13 in San Antonio.

Lakers center Kwame Brown was ruled out of his 12th straight game with injuries to his left knee and ankle.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press