Spurs point guard Tony Parker missed his second game of the season Friday, sitting out a 120-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT&T Center.

This time it had nothing to do with the team's leader in minutes played needing a rest.

A strained right quadriceps suffered in Wednesday's victory over the Knicks was so troublesome the club ordered an MRI exam to make certain it was neither ruptured nor torn.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sat both Parker and team captain Tim Duncan in a 137-97 loss at Portland on Feb. 24, but the rationale then was strictly to get some rest for overworked players.

Rest played no part in Popovich's decision Friday.

"No, no, no," Popovich said. "He's got a banged wrist and his right calf was bothering him and then he did a number on his thigh."

Though relieved that the MRI was negative, Popovich wasn't about to risk further injury in the 39th game of a 66-game season.

With Parker out, Popovich started second-year guard Gary Neal at the point. A natural shooting guard, Neal said he never started a single game at point guard at any point as a player. Except for the outcome, he was satisfied with his turnover-free performance, particularly since he was defended by All-Star Chris Paul for most of his 33-plus minutes.