Defense propels Spurs to fourth straight victory

This article is cross posted at Spurs Basketball.

With Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter not playing, DeJuan Blair continued his strong play scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds in 31 minutes while Tony Parker scored 21 points and dished out seven assists and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-76 on Sunday night in a matchup of short-handed teams.

Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw provided the Spurs with quality minutes off the bench.

The Spurs won for the seventh time in eight games and swept the season series with the 76ers despite being without Duncan. With the Spurs playing three games in three nights, coach Gregg Popovich gave the 35-year-old Duncan his second day off this season.

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Duncan, Blair led Spurs to defeat pesky Hornets

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DeJuan Blair kept the San Antonio Spurs in the game and finished with a team-high 23 points, Tim Duncan scored on two key baskets down the stretch as the Spurs rallied just in time to avoid an embarrassing loss to the short-handed New Orleans Hornets.

San Antonio trailed by a point twice in the final two minutes, but Duncan responded each time, atoning for a lackluster game by making two free throws and tipping in a missed shot with 1:19 left to give the Spurs the lead for good and won the game 89-86.

“New Orleans was more efficient than we were and executed better than we did,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “So we just had to hang in there and keep plugging. That is probably the best thing we did was keep on pushing, and at the end of the game it worked out. We were fortunate.”

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Manu-less Spurs defeat Thunder, Duncan reached another milestone

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

With coach Gregg Popovich opting to rest Manu Ginobili, and newly acquired forward Stephen Jackson not yet able to join the team, the San Antonio Spurs holdovers responded to the challenge.

Tim Duncan grabbed a season 19 rebounds to help San Antonio defeat Oklahoma City for the second time this season.

Tony Parker scored 25 points, while Tim Duncan added 16 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, as the Spurs beat Oklahoma City 114-105 on Friday night.

San Antonio rolled to a 27-point lead in the first half and was up by 20 late in the third quarter before Oklahoma City rallied within two-points down the stretch.

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Spurs pounded the Knicks, Ford hurt again

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

Tony Parker scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs dealt Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks a third consecutive loss, 118-105 on Wednesday night.

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili looked like his old self against the New York Knicks.

San Antonio pounded it on the inside, outscoring the Knicks 60-38 on inside points, on their way to a 54.1 percent shooting night.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili added 17 points apiece in Ginobili’s second game back after missing two weeks with a strained stomach muscle.

Carmelo Anthony led New York with 27 points.

The Knicks have lost six of nine, they bear little resemblance to their Lin-inspired resurgence before the All-Star break.

Lin came out of nowhere last month and delivered the Knicks the play-making point guard they craved for, but New York’s transition has been anything but seamless since Anthony returned February 20 after missing seven games, mostly because of a groin injury.

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Spurs whipped Bobcats

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

Tony Parker scored 15 points, and the San Antonio Spurs cruised past the Charlotte Bobcats in the second half for a 102-72 victory on Friday night.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the Spurs victory over the Bobcats.

The Spurs (25-11) bounced back from a rare home loss earlier this week against the Chicago Bulls to win for the 13th time in their last 15 games.

The Bobcats (4-30), who were playing San Antonio for the only time this season, have lost four straight and 20 of their last 21.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds, while Tim Duncan had 14 points and eight boards for the Spurs.

Matt Bonner added 14 points, Kawhi Leonard had 10 and Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter chipped in nine points each off the bench.

Corey Maggette and Boris Diaw each scored 14 points for the Bobcats, who were held below 100 points for the 21st straight game.

San Antonio outrebounded Charlotte 55-37, with DeJuan Blair leading all players with 11 rebounds.

San Antonio, which was playing the second game of a seven-game homestand, never trailed after the first quarter.

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Bulls hand Spurs second home loss

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

Derrick Rose scored 29 points as the Chicago Bulls stayed on a roll by defeating the San Antonio Spurs 96-89 on Wednesday night in San Antonio.

Blair finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds, but the Spurs fall to the Bulls 96-89. (Photo via ESPN)

Rose shook off a scary-looking collision with Tony Parker early that kept him on the floor clutching his right knee for several minutes. However, the reigning MVP never left the game and the Bulls became just the second team to win in San Antonio this season.

Gary Neal led the Spurs with 21 points, DeJuan Blair started out strong and Tim Duncan carried his team in the third quarter, but San Antonio floundered late and had their homecoming spoiled after going 8-1 during a nine-game road trip.

Joakim Noah added 10 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago.

The Bulls have won 11 of 13 and surged ahead for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Duncan finished 18 points and 10 rebounds. He brought the Spurs back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter after starting out rusty.

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Blair lead Spurs to victory

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball

DeJuan Blair tied a career-high 28 points helping the Spurs to get back in the win column. (Photo via Spurs Nation)

DeJuan Blair scored a career high 28 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had three assists, two steals and two blocks in 35 turnover-free minutes, as the San Antonio Spurs (24-10) bounced back from a loss in Portland, defeating the Denver Nuggets (18-17) 114-99 on Thursday night to wrap their nine-game road swing.

Sparked by a 19-1 run midway through the first quarter, the Spurs jumped out to a big lead and then held on at the end.

They’ve won 12 of their last 13 games heading into the All-Star break and lead the Southwest Division by three games over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

All Spurs starters scored in double figures.

Tony Parker had 16 points and 12 assists, Tim Duncan added 18 points and nine rebounds, Richard scored 17 points, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and Danny Green had 16 points, six rebounds and three steals.

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Undermanned Spurs clobbered by Blazers

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball

Without their Big 3, the San Antonio Spurs (23-10) lacked the size and firepower to matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers (18-16).

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and the Blazers routed San Antonio 137-97 Tuesday night while the Spurs rested Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points, shooting 5-of-7 on three-pointers, and had eight assists for the Blazers, who led by as many as 48 points and sat all of their starters for most of the fourth quarter.

Gerald Wallace and Nicolas Batum each had 19 points in the win.

Kawhi Leonard had 24 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and one block to lead San Antonio, which snapped an 11-game winning streak overall and an eight-game streak on the road.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game that he was resting Parker and Duncan because the Spurs were playing three games in four nights.

“They’ve been going and going and going and if you don’t do it now I think you’re asking for trouble,” Popovich said.

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Spurs extend win streak to 7 as Manu returns

With Manu Ginobili back of their lineup, the San Antonio Spurs continued with their winning ways.

Manu played sparingly in his return, but the Spurs won handily 103-89

Gary Neal scored 18 points, and Tim Duncan recorded his fourth consecutive double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs (19-9) won their seventh in the row with a 103-89 victory over the New Jersey Nets (8-21).

Tony Parker added 12 points, DeJuan Blair finished 11 points, while Danny Green and Tiago Splitter added 10 points a piece.

More importantly, San Antonio was bolstered by Ginobili’s return.

The Spurs superstar guard who hasn’t played in 22 games after suffering a fractured metacarpal in San Antonio’s 106-96 loss in Minnesota last January 2, returned into action and scored eight points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and had four assists in 17 minutes of action.

Deron Williams scored 27 points to lead the Nets, who have lost six in a row.

Kris Humphries added 15 points, while Jordan Farmar chipped in 12 points.

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Spurs notes: Manu nearing return, TD on NBA’s Top 20 rebounding list and more

After missing 21 games this season, it looked like San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will be returning to the Spurs line up pretty soon.

Manu could be back in San Antonio's lineup as early as next week, while Duncan is now on the NBA's Top 20 rebounding list.

According to Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation, coach Gregg Popovich gave an optimistic assessment of his All-Star guard’s progress.

“The doctors say he’s healed and healthy,” Popovich said before the Spurs’ 89-84 win over the Grizzlies. “It’s just a matter of conditioning and timing, rhythm and confidence, all those things right now.

“I’d expect him in the next week or so.”

Ginobili has missed games since breaking his shooting hand last January 2 in Minnesota, an injury that required surgery.

“It just feels great to see him out here, doing teardrops and moving around,” Parker said. “Hopefully he can come back soon.”

When Ginobili does return, Popovich said he’s leaning toward bringing the former Sixth Man of the Year off the bench in order to ease him into game action.

The Spurs are 14-7 this season without Manu in the lineup.

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