Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Friday, December 11th
Game 2: Friday, January 15th

Spurs 76

(24-14, 7-8 away)

Bobcats 92

(18-19, 15-4 home)

    Coverage: FSCR

    7:00 PM ET, January 15, 2010

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 24 18 15 1976
    CHA 22 16 26 2892

    Top Performers

    SA: D. Blair 11 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Cha: B. Diaw 26 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Spurs-Bobcats Preview


    Gregg Popovich decided to give Tim Duncan a rest in the San Antonio Spurs' latest game, one night after the two-time MVP engineered a win over the defending champions.

    After seeing what DeJuan Blair did in Duncan's absence, Popovich might be inclined to rest his star more often.

    The burly rookie's breakout game lifted the Spurs to their third straight win, and with Duncan due back Friday night, they'll look to remain perfect in their brief road history against the surging Charlotte Bobcats.

    Popovich has given his top players nights off in the regular season on occasion, and after Duncan scored 25 points in a 105-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, his star sat on the bench in street clothes Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

    The 37th overall pick in June made sure Duncan wouldn't be missed too much. Blair, an All-American center last season at Pittsburgh who slipped in the draft due to his 6-foot-7 frame and concerns over his knees, had 28 points and 21 rebounds to lead San Antonio (24-13) to a 109-108 overtime victory over the Thunder.

    "I'm going to take what he gave us tonight, and I don't know how he did it," Popovich said. "I have no clue what his moves are. He's just a basketball player. He hustles his (tail) off, he's got a nose for the ball, he's got great hands and he does what you saw. We didn't teach him any of it. He brought it all with him."

    Blair has started at center in 12 of the Spurs' last 13 games, but his minutes have fluctuated. San Antonio is 11-4 when he scores at least eight points.

    "We're going to start resting Tim more in the second game of back-to-backs," Popovich said.

    Duncan had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists when Charlotte (17-19) visited San Antonio on Dec. 11, but the Bobcats had a chance to win heading into the fourth quarter, trailing 72-71. The Spurs, though, shot 71 percent in the final 12 minutes and overcame a season-high 28 turnovers to win 104-85.

    Manu Ginobili paced San Antonio with 22 points and former Spur Stephen Jackson led Charlotte with 23.

    Ginobili will be looking to atone for an 0-for-10 performance against Oklahoma City, and though he's only averaged 11.8 points in the Spurs' five games in Charlotte, they've never lost there.

    San Antonio is 10-1 in the all-time series but could face a tough challenge in this visit. The Bobcats have scored exactly as many points as they've allowed through 36 games, but they've outscored opponents by an average of 5.8 points in going 14-4 at home.

    Charlotte rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit en route to a fifth straight home win Tuesday, beating Houston 102-94 behind Jackson's franchise-record and career-high 43 points.

    "Every shot you take you feel like it's going to go in," Jackson told the NBA's official Web site. "It's one of those nights where everything felt good."

    Jackson, who wore out his welcome in Golden State and was traded in mid-November, has averaged 28.0 points as Charlotte's gone 5-2 since Dec. 30.

    "He's about as bright as anybody I've ever coached," Larry Brown said. "He's in that difficult category, but he loves his teammates and he loves to play. And he's made everybody better."

    Jackson's big game Wednesday made up for an off night from Gerald Wallace, who was 2 of 10 and finished with nine points. The Bobcats, though, are 3-12 when Wallace scores 13 or fewer.