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SPURS GAMEDAY: Aldridge to miss his fourth straight game with shoulder injury

Coach Pop will be back on the bench Friday night when the Silver and Black continue three-game road trip in Brooklyn.
Credit: Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
Veteran Spurs guard Patty Mills was averaging 11.7 points and 23 minutes before the NBA suspended the season March 11 because of the coronavirus.

Spurs (26-34) vs. Brooklyn Nets (27-34)

When, where: Friday, 6:30 p.m., Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

All-time series record: Spurs lead 72-22

Last season: Tied 1-1

Season series: Spurs lead 1-0

Last meeting: Spurs 118, Nets 105, Dec. 19, AT&T Center

Spurs' last game: Beat Hornets 104-103, Tuesday, Charlotte, N.C.

Nets' last game: Lost to Memphis Grizzlies 118-79, Wednesday, Brooklyn

Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 4-6, won one

Nets' last 10 games/streak: 4-6, lost one

Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward LaMarcus Aldridge (right shoulder; strain), out; guard Marco Belinelli (illness), out; forward Chimezie Metu ( G League), out; center Jakob Poeltl (right MCL; sprain), out.

Nets' injury/inactive report: Forward/center Nicolas Claxton (G League), out; forward Kevin Durant (right Achilles; rehab), out; guard Kyrie Irving (right shoulder; surgery), out; guard Jeremiah Martin (G League), out; guard/forward Dzanan Musa (G League), out; guard/forward Garrett Temple (left ankle; sprain), doubtful.  

Notable: Friday night's game in Brooklyn is the second of three in a row on the road for the Silver and Black, who cap the trip against Cleveland on Sunday . . . The Nets, 16-14 at home this season, are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings . . . San Antonio's next home is Tuesday against Dallas, which is 3-0 against the Spurs this season . . . Warren High School graduate Taurean Prince, who played at Baylor, has started all 61 games in his first season with Brooklyn. A forward, Prince is averaging 12.2 points and 5.9 rebounds. He played his first three NBA seasons with the Atlanta Hawks.

GAME PREVIEW

Pop is back but LaMarcus Aldridge is still on the mend.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this week that he hoped Aldridge, sidelined with a strained right shoulder, would return to the lineup Friday in Brooklyn.

But per San Antonio's injury report, Aldridge will miss his fourth straight start when the Silver and Black continue their three-game road trip against the Nets.

The Spurs started the trip Tuesday in Charlotte without Popovich, who missed the game for personal reasons and handed the coaching reins to assistant coach Tim Duncan.

The Silver and Black fought back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Hornets 104-103 and keep their fading playoffs hopes alive. Reliable backup center Jakob Poeltl also missed the game with a sprained MCL, and is expected to be out for at least another two to three weeks.

Duncan praised the Spurs for their grit in the win over Charlotte.

“These guys have been battling really hard and we’ve kind of gotten ourselves in those positions where we’re down a bunch," he said. "But this crew that we have here haven’t given up and they haven’t folded, no matter what they’re down.

"Again a lot of guys out of the rotation, a lot of guys were asked to different things. We’re playing small, we’re doing different defenses and they continue to show up. I’m proud of these guys. I think we’re headed in the right direction. We need to get healthy, obviously, but a great win tonight.”

Credit: Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
Brooklyn Nets forward Taurean Prince, a Warren High School graduate, had nine points, seven rebounds and two steals in Thursday night's 118-105 loss to the Spurs at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs trail the Memphis Grizzlies by four games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. San Antonio is 11th in the West with 22 games left on its schedule.

The Nets should be in a foul mood after their dismal performance at home Wednesday night, when they took a 39-point beating from Memphis.

Led by Patty Mills, San Antonio beat Brooklyn 118-105 in their first meeting this season. Mills came off the bench to score 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and hit a season-best 7 of 10 three-pointers.

Mills was heartened by the Silver and Black's comeback win against Charlotte on the second night of a back-to-back this week.

“We found ourselves with our backs against the walls a few times throughout this season and we’ve never given up," Mills said. "We had to make up for our lack of competitiveness at times last night (in a loss to Indiana) and although we didn’t start the game the way we would have liked, we hung in there as a group and found ways to get ourselves back in the game and then stay on top.

"Multiple players made huge plays on both ends of the floor and like I said after last night we are going to need everyone together to be able to make the playoffs and make a big push for the playoffs. It was a great team win."