Depleted Spurs aims at 50th season win against short-handed Warriors
With the 110-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs remain in contention to secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Spurs (49-16) has to win over the Golden State Warriors and hope the Chicago Bulls drop their season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers to lockup the NBA's top overall spot.
A win alone however, will make San Antonio the only team in NBA history to achieve 50 regular season wins in 13 straight seasons.
The Spurs are on a nine-game winning streak, and routed the Warriors 120-99 at Oracle Arena during the most recent meeting last April 16.
Golden State (23-42) owns the eighth-worst record in the league but has to finish in the bottom seven to keep its protected 2012 first-round pick - acquired by Utah in a previous trade.
If the Warriors lose Thursday, they are guaranteed to finish tied with either New Jersey (22-43) or Toronto (22-43) - who square off in their season finale - for the league's seventh-worst record.
The NBA would then hold a drawing Friday to determine draft position.
Nonetheless, San Antonio will enter the game with a depleted lineup, as coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Gary Neal in the team's final two regular season game.
Golden State on the other hand, will be likewise shorthanded.
David Lee will have surgery on Thursday to repair a torn abdominal muscle, Stephen Curry underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle last Wednesday and recently acquired Andrew Bogut is scheduled to go under the knife on Friday for his fractured left ankle.
This game will be a good time for the Spurs to test their bench strenght futher, and perhaps have a long look at newly signed swingman Derrick Byars.
(Photo via zimbio.com)