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San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter a game-time decision vs. Clippers

San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter a game-time decision vs. Clippers
San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter, left, drives around Boston Celtics forward Tyler Zeller during a game on March 20. (Michael Thomas / Associated Press)

Not long after the doors opened following the San Antonio Spurs' shoot-around at Santa Monica High, Tiago Splitter stepped to the free-throw line to practice his free throws.

A few minutes later, Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich approached the media and said that Splitter was still a game-time decision for Sunday night’s Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Clippers at Staples Center.

Splitter had missed the last six regular-season games with a right calf injury.

"We're just trying to figure it out, see what we're going to do with him," Popovich said Sunday morning.

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If Splitter is unavailable, Popovich said he'll start Aron Baynes at center in place of Splitter.

Baynes, a brutish 6-10, 260-pounder, started 17 games for the Spurs this season.

He played in 70 games, averaging 16.0 minutes, 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds.

"Take [Baynes] and Tiago away, we're pretty small," Popovich said. "So he's [Baynes'] been very, very large keeping us afloat."

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Splitter, 6-11, 245, gives the Spurs more offense than Baynes because of his ability to roll to the basket on pick-and-rolls.

Splitter averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds this season.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter:@BA_Turner

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