Garrett Temple will play his 17th game as a member of the Wizards on Saturday, which will be the most he has played with any team in his three seasons in the NBA. Prior to joining Washington, the most appearances Temple made with one team was 16, spread out over parts of two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.
Temple will again start at shooting guard with Bradley Beal missing his third consecutive game with a sprained right wrist. He hasn’t played a game at AT&T Center since Nov. 10, 2010, though he did return as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats two seasons ago.
“It’s good to come back, be an opponent. It was a great experience. Definitely a first class organization,” Temple said. “Coach Popovich is easily one of the best coaches I’ve had in terms of knowing how to get to guys, knowing what buttons to push. He’s obviously a great coach with four championship rings. I had a great time here when I was playing, getting to play with Tim Duncan, Manu [Ginobili], Tony Parker and stuff. I definitely enjoyed my time here. “
The Wizards (11-34) are on a three-game losing streak, have the second-worst record in the league and will also be without reserve forward Trevor Booker (sore left wrist). John Wall injured his left shoulder in the second quarter against Memphis, but Coach Randy Wittman said he didn’t have any complications and would start.
The San Antonio Spurs (37-11) have the best record in the NBA, are riding a nine-game winning streak and welcome back all-star forward Tim Duncan who has missed the past four games with a sore left knee. “Why not?” Wittman said.
Wittman added the Wizards’ primary concern will be trying to contain all-star point guard Tony Parker, who was named Western Conference player of the month. “He’s the head of the snake with this team. He dictates the flow and the speed of the game. don’t want to let him get to the rim or collapse your defense. Very tough matchup but one our guys are ready for for.”
Temple will have the defensive responsibility of guarding Parker after taking his lumps against him in practice for a few seasons.
“Tony’s been playing great. He’s obviously always had this ability. He’s been playing great over the last eight years, honestly,” Temple said. “He’s really been under the radar a lot. Every time you play against Tony Parker, you know he’s going to give you his all. He’s so quick, so crafty and now he’s knocking down that jumper. So he’s definitely going to be a tough guard. His quickness and his ability to finish around the basket are probably second to none. That’s what really sets him apart.”
The Wizards will try to avoid going 0-3 on this road trip through Philadelphia, Memphis and San Antonio. They will also attempt to snap a 12-game losing streak in San Antonio, where they haven’t won since Dec. 11, 1999.
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Tipoff: 8:30 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)