Tony Parker, Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook

Tony Parker dealing with back spasms, to get MRI

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Tony Parker made his first four shots and scored 10 points in the Spurs’ win over the Grizzlies yesterday, but he left the game during the first quarter and didn’t return.

Parker, who averages 16.8 points and 5.8 assists per game, is obviously key to San Antonio’s playoffs hopes – as has been the case for the last 12 years. Will the Spurs get him for this year’s postseason?

Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation:

Spurs All-Star Tony Parker is scheduled for an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday’s 112-92 victory over Memphis in the first quarter with back spasms, coach Gregg Popovich said.

It marks the latest in a string of nagging injuries for Parker this season, who has missed 11 games with a mild ankle sprain, a shin contusion, tightness in his low back, a sore Achilles and the “variety of maladies” that earned him a lengthy convalescence in late February.

The Spurs have been excellent when Parker plays (offensive rating: 108.1/defensive rating: 100.4/net rating: +7.7). They’ve been even better on both ends when backup point guard Patty Mills plays (108.7/98.1/+10.6).

Mills’ minutes have been more carefully chosen, and nobody could rationally argue he’s better than Parker. But if the Spurs need to reduce Parker’s load, they’re in relatively good hands with Mills.

Popovich is always prone to resting his veterans, and that’s even more true now that San Antonio has a 4.5-game lead for the No. 1 seed. The Spurs can clinch the top seed as soon as tomorrow. Regardless of the MRI results, don’t expect much Parker the rest of the regular season.

But these tests could say a lot about what to expect from San Antonio in the playoffs.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.