LOS ANGELES (AP) -The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs faced the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night without stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
Duncan, averaging 17.6 points and 8.9 rebounds, sat out his fourth straight game because of a sprained right ankle. Parker, averaging 20.1 points and 6.8 assists, missed his first game of the season with a sprained left ankle.
Team spokesman Tom James said Parker was injured about a week ago, but continued to play. James said both players might return Saturday night when the Spurs entertain the Denver Nuggets.
Duncan sat out only two games in each of the last two seasons. Parker has played in 492 games while missing just 22 in his six-plus seasons with the Spurs.
``It's a little disappointing,'' 20-year-old Lakers center Andrew Bynum said of Duncan's absence. ``I always like to play against Duncan. It's a good test of where I'm at.''
Bynum was coming off a 20-point, 11-rebounds performance in the Lakers' 123-113 victory over Golden State last Sunday night.
The Spurs entered with a 17-4 record - second-best in the NBA. Coming off a 96-84 loss at Golden State, they were facing the possibility of their first two-game losing streak of the season.
The Spurs entered having won 10 of the last 13 games against the Lakers including a 107-92 victory Nov. 13 in San Antonio.
Lakers center Kwame Brown missed his 12th straight game with injuries to his left knee and ankle.
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