One night after Tim Duncan scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a come from behind win over Houston, it was somewhat surprising that the 35 year old forward even played.
Coach Gregg Popovich who vowed to limit Duncan’s minutes gave his perennial All Star a chance to show that his legs are still strong enough to play on back-to-back nights.
However, the New Orleans Hornets didn’t make it easy.
Carl Landry scored 17 points and Greivis Vasquez added 16 points and kept the game close for three quarters before the Spurs turned up their defense to pull away in in the fourth period.
New Orleans trailed by just 3 points after the third quarter but was outscored 22-13 in the final period as they shot just 29 percent from the floor.
As usual, Duncan and Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio.
Duncan scored a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds in just 22 minutes of play, while Parker had 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
Meanwhile, the Spurs bench has continued to give a lift.
Tiago Splitter added 16 points and seven rebounds and Danny Green had 11 points off the bench.
With the 93-81 victory, the Spurs improved to an NBA-best 12-1 at home, but they will certainly need to stockpile all the home wins they can.
After hosting the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, the Spurs won’t be back home for three weeks and will play nine straight games on the road.
The San Antonio Rodeo runs the Spurs out of town every February — but the franchise has never seen a stretch like this.
The compressed schedule in wake of the NBA lockout has San Antonio in the midst of playing 16 of 21 games outside the AT&T Center, the toughest road run in Spurs history.
Getting a win against the Thunder on Saturday night will definitely give the Spurs a big boost heading into the rodeo road trip that starts on Monday night in Memphis.