(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will begin their long Rodeo trip Monday night when they head to New Orleans to take on Southwest Division rivals, the Pelicans.
San Antonio will be gone for nine games, spanning well past the All-Star break. They will visit the east coast, they'll visit the west coast and a few spots in between and they'll do so without several key contributors.
Manu Ginobili (hamstring) was the latest to join the injured list for the Spurs. He'll be gone a few more weeks as Kawhi Leonard (finger) and Danny Green (finger) are both closer to a return. Green might come back on this trip.
On Saturday night, the Spurs halted a season-long three-game losing streak with a 95-93 win at home over the Sacramento Kings.
Tim Duncan had 23 points, 17 rebounds and five assists to lead the Spurs. Tony Parker added 18 points and 10 assists, Patty Mills poured in 15 and Boris Diaw finished with 14 for the Spurs.
"What's important is winning," said Popovich. "It didn't matter if we won five in a row or lost five in a row, we play each game and try to win then move on to the next one."
Tiago Splitter returned from an almost month-long absence with a shoulder issue to score two points in 16 minutes.
The Pelicans have played great ball of late with four wins in their last five and five in their last seven.
Anthony Davis scored a game-high 24 points to go with eight rebounds and six blocked shots, as the Pelicans notched an 88-79 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday at New Orleans Arena.
Davis, who missed Wednesday's 88-77 setback in Minnesota with a sore left index finger, set a franchise record by posting his sixth consecutive game with at least four blocked shots.
"I'm just trying to protect the rim," Davis said of his record-setting streak. "My teammates are doing a great job of not fouling while guys are driving to the basket, so I'm there to clean it up."
Tyreke Evans added 11 points and six assists off the bench, while Eric Gordon netted nine points for the Pelicans.
The Spurs have won both meetings with the Pelicans this season and have taken nine of the last 10. San Antonio has won seven of its last nine in New Orleans.