Warriors and Spurs opt to rest key players for nationally televised matchup in San Antonio

Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs welcome the Golden State Warriors to AT&T Center on Saturday night for a Western Conference matchup at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The national audience won't get to watch several of the best players from both teams, however, as Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and Spurs head coach Greg Popovich have opted to rest multiple starters.

Rest for Golden State

The Warriors, who have lost four of six games for the first time under Kerr, will be without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. Kevin Durant also remains sidelined with a knee injury. Those five players lead the team in minutes this season.

Golden State's two most-used lineups that don’t feature any of those players have only been outscored by three points in 41 combined minutes. However, their third-most used lineup that doesn’t include those five has outscored opponents by 18 points in 19 minutes on the floor. That group features Ian Clark, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo and Patrick McCaw.

Rest for San Antonio

The Spurs will take the floor without Kawhi Leonard (concussion), LaMarcus Aldridge (arrhythmia), Tony Parker (rest) and Dejounte Murray (groin). David Lee, though, has filled in admirably whenever Leonard is sidelined. The veteran forward is averaging 13.0 PPG and is shooting 76.1 percent from the field in the six games that Leonard has missed this season.

Another elite season for Spurs

With 50 wins entering tonight’s action, San Antonio is assured of finishing with a .600 or better winning percentage for the 20th consecutive season. That’s by far the longest streak of that kind in NBA history. The second-longest streak belongs to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, who each reeled off 12 such seasons in a row.

The Spurs have now won at least 60 percent of their games in 28 of the 41 seasons they have played since joining the NBA in 1976-77 (68.3 percent). That’s the highest percentage of seasons with a .600-or-better winning clip for any franchise in NBA history. No. 2 on that list is the Lakers (40 of 69, 58.0 percent).

This season marks the 19th time that Popovich has won at least 50 games as a head coach, an NBA record. Pat Riley and Phil Jackson each did it 17 times.

House of horrors for Warriors

Golden State is 1-24 (.040) at the AT&T Center since the Spurs began playing their home games there at the start of the 2002-03 season. It's the lowest winning percentage any team has in any arena in NBA history (minimum: 20 games played).

The Warriors' lone win at San Antonio’s current home came in their most recent visit on April 10, 2016. That victory snapped Golden State's streak of 33 consecutive road losses against the Spurs dating back to 1997 (the first nine losses of the streak came at the Alamodome). It still stands as the second-longest road losing streak any team has had against a particular opponent in NBA history. The Sacramento Kings lost 43 consecutive road games to the Lakers from March 1975 to January 1992.