Duncan, Blair led Spurs to defeat pesky Hornets

This article is cross posted at Spurs Basketball.

DeJuan Blair kept the San Antonio Spurs in the game and finished with a team-high 23 points, Tim Duncan scored on two key baskets down the stretch as the Spurs rallied just in time to avoid an embarrassing loss to the short-handed New Orleans Hornets.

San Antonio trailed by a point twice in the final two minutes, but Duncan responded each time, atoning for a lackluster game by making two free throws and tipping in a missed shot with 1:19 left to give the Spurs the lead for good and won the game 89-86.

“New Orleans was more efficient than we were and executed better than we did,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “So we just had to hang in there and keep plugging. That is probably the best thing we did was keep on pushing, and at the end of the game it worked out. We were fortunate.”

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Popovich named Coach of the Month, Manu could return on Friday

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was chosen by the NBA as the Western Conference Coach of the Month after leading the Spurs to an 11-2 record in February.

Gregg Popovich was named Wests' Coach of the Month for February.

During the month, Popovich led the Spurs to an 8-1 record on their Rodeo Road Trip, tying the league record for winning percentage on a nine-game road trip.

The Spurs had an 11-game winning streak that extended into the month, despite playing without Manu Ginobili and T.J. Ford for extended periods during the month.

It marks a record 13th month when Popovich has been selected as the NBA’s Coach of the Month, and broke the previous mark he shared with Pat Riley, who won the award on 12 occasions during his career.

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Spurs signed Eric Dawson to 10-day contract

The San Antonio Spurs called up Eric Dawson from Austin and signed him to a 10-day contract (Photo via Spurs Nation)

As reported by Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation, former Sam Houston standout Eric Dawson has signed a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs, joining them from the Austin Toros.

Dawson, a bullish 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward, has played in 18 games with the Toros this season, averaging 15.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 blocked shots and 1.3 steals in 29.3 minutes. He ranks second in the D-League with 13 double-double and has scored 20 points three times.

This move should give the Spurs additional inside help they try to overcome Tiago Splitter’s injury, who strained his right calf in the Spurs’ 103-100 overtime victory at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

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Spurs notes: Manu nearing return, TD on NBA’s Top 20 rebounding list and more

After missing 21 games this season, it looked like San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will be returning to the Spurs line up pretty soon.

Manu could be back in San Antonio's lineup as early as next week, while Duncan is now on the NBA's Top 20 rebounding list.

According to Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation, coach Gregg Popovich gave an optimistic assessment of his All-Star guard’s progress.

“The doctors say he’s healed and healthy,” Popovich said before the Spurs’ 89-84 win over the Grizzlies. “It’s just a matter of conditioning and timing, rhythm and confidence, all those things right now.

“I’d expect him in the next week or so.”

Ginobili has missed games since breaking his shooting hand last January 2 in Minnesota, an injury that required surgery.

“It just feels great to see him out here, doing teardrops and moving around,” Parker said. “Hopefully he can come back soon.”

When Ginobili does return, Popovich said he’s leaning toward bringing the former Sixth Man of the Year off the bench in order to ease him into game action.

The Spurs are 14-7 this season without Manu in the lineup.

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Spurs.com: Cory Joseph recalled from Austin

Cory Joseph could play significant minutes behind Tony Parker tonight as the Spurs play against the Rockets.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have recalled Cory Joseph from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Joseph, a 6-3 guard, was assigned to Austin on January 3, he appeared in four games for the Toros, averaging 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.75 steals in 31.8 minutes.

He recorded 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 31 minutes vs. Erie at the NBA D-League Showcase in Las Vegas on January 10.

He has seen action in four games for the Spurs this season, totaling two points, three rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.

Joseph will be available tonight when the Silver and Black host the Houston Rockets at the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.

Recalling Joseph from the Austin Toros was expected, after San Antonio’s primary backup point guard T.J. Ford was hurt in their previous game against the Bucks.