OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Gregg Popovich doesn't understand why there's an uproar anytime he rests his starters for a regular-season game. He doesn't really care, either.
"It's logical. It makes sense," Popovich said.
The Spurs gave Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili the night off Thursday at the Golden State Warriors. Tony Parker also sat out for the second straight game with a bruised right shin.
Popovich has been known to rest his veterans at times during the regular season, especially when playing road games on consecutive nights. San Antonio won at Phoenix on Wednesday night, and Duncan (37 years old) and Ginobili (36) played deep into the fourth quarter.
"How smart do you have to be to rest guys that are older than dirt?" Popovich quipped.
"Everybody has a different kind of team. I know my team. We've been doing this for years," he said before the game at Golden State. "We've been saving minutes for Timmy and Manu since the day they got here, and I think it's prolonged their careers. We have to have them for the playoffs. ... I care about the end of the season."
Last year, the Spurs drew a $250,000 fine from the NBA for sending Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Danny Green back to San Antonio before a game at the Miami Heat. It was the finale of a six-game road trip, finishing with four games in five days.
In explaining the hefty fine, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the Spurs did not give the league or Miami prior notice of the players' absences.
This time, the Spurs announced about 6½ hours before facing Golden State that Duncan and Ginobili would be held out of the nationally televised game, and both were still in attendance. The team said earlier this week that Parker was sent back to San Antonio after he was injured in Monday's loss at the Los Angeles Clippers.