With Manu Ginobili back of their lineup, the San Antonio Spurs continued with their winning ways.
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.
The Spurs took control in the second quarter by making 14-of-19 shots to outscore the Nets 31-18 and take a 55-40 lead at halftime.
San Antonio’s torrid shooting was coupled by strong defense — New Jersey went 8-of-27 shots in the decisive quarter, missing all six 3-point attempts.
The Spurs did not let up in the second half, they used 15-3 run to end the third quarter to push their lead to 73-59 entering the final quarter.
The spurt was highlighted by Splitter’s half-hook from the left, low block and a two-handed dunk on consecutive possessions.
San Antonio dominated inside the paint outscoring the Nets, 50-34. New Jersey never threatened the Spurs in the fourth, as San Antonio improved their road record to 6-8.
New Jersey and San Antonio wore their ABA jerseys as part of the Nets’ Hardwood Classic Night.
The Spurs will continue their road trek on Tuesday night when they visit the Detroit Pistons.