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Popovich keeps Spurs' stars at home

The Sports Xchange

The Spurs went with a starting lineup of Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, DeJuan Blair, Danny Green and Patty Mills at Utah on Monday night. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were left in San Antonio.

No one seems to question the motives of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, win or lose. Maybe that's because the Spurs mostly win.

The makeshift lineup battled the Jazz for 48 minutes before falling 91-84. Even though the Spurs lost for the first time in 12 games, the game served as another referendum that this Pop guy knows what he's doing.

"You couldn't have a better coach with the talent we have running the team," Jackson said. "He knows when to give guys rest, he knows when to play guys, and he knows when to make subs. It's working well for us right now."

No matter who suits up for the Spurs, they expect to win. Duncan, for one, recently said the roster is as deep and as talented as any team he can remember.

Jackson has an idea of what he's talking about, having teamed up with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker on the 2003 title team.

"At the end of the day it's about getting the job done," Jackson said. "It's about winning games. At this point no one is worried about who's starting and who's coming off the bench, we are trying to get wins. We are trying to see the bigger goal and that's winning a championship."

San Antonio (40-15) will likely have a more familiar lineup in place when the Los Angeles Lakers come to town.

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