(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs look to become the NBA's only four-
win team tonight when they host the Indiana Pacers at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs toppled the Utah Jazz, 110-100, on Saturday night in a rematch of
last season's first-round playoff matchup. With wins against the Oklahoma City
Thunder and New Orleans Hornets, the Spurs are already the only team in the
league with three wins and will be looking for the first 4-0 start in team
The Spurs earned last-second victories against New Orleans and Oklahoma City,
but the win against the Jazz was more balanced. After a disastrous third
quarter that saw San Antonio get outscored, 35-17, the Spurs won the fourth
quarter 31-21 for the 10-point victory.
"Our guys were really embarrassed by that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of
his team's third-quarter performance. "Together playing good individual and
team defense; holding them to 21 (points) was the key and they knew it. I
thought our guys really executed in the fourth quarter."
Perhaps more important than any victory on Saturday was the return of Manu
Ginobili to the lineup. The Argentinean star didn't even play 16 minutes, but
had eight points, two rebounds and two assists and Popovich indicated after
the game that Ginobili was able to return to the game if needed late in the
"Of course, very satisfied that I was able to play for a few minutes," said
Ginobili, who missed the first two games of the season with a nagging back
issue. "I felt better than I expected. I'm a little out of rhythm."
The Pacers come to San Antonio after some very hard-fought nights lately. On
Friday, the Pacers fell to the Charlotte Bobcats, 90-89, in Charlotte, then
needed two overtimes to dispatch the Sacramento Kings in their home-opener,
"Not the prettiest game in the world but we got a W," Pacers coach Frank Vogel
said after the overtime win. "Like early last season our defense is carrying
us. For the most part, we got stops on the defensive end and thats the more
With due respect, the Bobcats and Kings don't figure to be playoff contenders
in their respective conferences. The Pacers do, and maybe the absence of Danny
Granger has hurt more than anticipated, even against some of the NBA's lesser
And Granger, a former All-Star, isn't expected back in the near future.
"It's going to be a couple days for them to gather all the information and
make a decision on a course of action," said Vogel.
These games are also taking a toll on the starters. David West, Roy Hibbert,
Paul George and George Hill each played over 43 minutes on Saturday. The
Pacers also are the only team in the league averaging more than 20 turnovers a
The Spurs have won the last nine matchups and the Pacers haven't beaten San
Antonio since April 1, 2007. Indiana hasn't won in San Antonio since Jan. 4,
2002, losing its last 10 trips to the Alamo City.
The Sports Network