MIAMI (AP) -- NBA Commissioner David Stern says the San Antonio Spurs will be hit with "substantial sanctions" for their decision to send four regulars home before their game in Miami on Thursday night.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green were sent home by San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who cited a desire to get them rest at the end of a long road trip. The NBA was not happy, and Stern released a statement saying he apologizes "to all NBA fans."

Stern's statement was released shortly before tipoff in Miami. An hour earlier, Popovich said his decision was in the best interest of his team.

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