Spurs Streak Ends; Duncan, Parker Rest
That’s not who (Greg) Popovich meant to say, obviously — Cory Alexander was a bit player for the Spurs a long, long time ago. So long ago that your correspondent went to college with him.
The name he was looking for was Cory Joseph, but you could forgive Popovich his lack of familiarity. He had started All-Star Tony Parker at the point every game this season until Tuesday, when he opted to rest Parker and fellow star Tim Duncan, play his kids and “put some money in the bank” for the rest of the season.
With the Spurs starting Joseph, Richard Jefferson, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair and Danny Green, Popovich mostly chilled on the sidelines as his Spurs were thrashed by the Portland Trail Blazers 137-97, dropping the Spurs’ record on the season to 23 wins, nine losses and one DNP-Coach’s Decision.
A 41-point Portland explosion in the first quarter — nearly six times their output a night earlier in L.A. against the Lakers — put the Spurs’ JV team out of its misery early, with newly instated started Jamal Crawford hitting four 3-pointers and getting fouled for three shots on a fifth.