Duncan powers Spurs to victory

With the San Antonio Spurs staring at a 19-point deficit in the second half Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, Tim Duncan took over and carried them to victory.

Duncan's 25 points and seven rebounds led the Spurs to a 99-91 victory over the Rockets.

Duncan scored 25 points and grabbed seven boards while Tony Parker added 24 to help the Spurs rally for a 99-91 win over the Rockets for their 11th win at the AT&T Center this season.

The Rockets led by 18 points in the third quarter and looked poised to put the game away before Duncan led the Spurs on an 11-2 run.

The Big Fundamental scored 16 points in the quarter, after which the Spurs trailed only 71-67.

“Tim Duncan, he went to the fountain of youth or something yesterday,” Neal said. “Cause today he looked phenomenal. Tim’s one of our leaders, everybody knows that; we just kind of fed off of him tonight.”

The Spurs took their first lead since the first quarter on Danny Green’s 3-pointer with seven minutes left in the game — a shot that brought his former coach Roy Williams, in attendance to support Green, to his feet.

Both teams traded baskets before the Spurs took the lead for good on Neal’s runner with only two minutes remaining.

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Duncan, Spurs escaped Rockets in OT

After losing a close one in Milwaukee, the San Antonio Spurs found themselves in another tight contest against the Houston Rockets on a second night of back-to-backs.

Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 101-95 victory over the Rockets.

With most of their starters logging a lot of minutes the previous night, the Spurs started out slow and trailed the Rockets at halftime 50-47.

However, they found their groove in the third quarter outscoring Houston 25-18 in the period, to take a four-point 72-68 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Rockets started strong in the fourth, and took an 83-80 advantage with a little over four minutes left, before the Spurs made an 8-0 run of their own capped by back-to-back jumpers from Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to re-take the lead 88-83 with only 1:22 left in the game clock.

But the Rockets weren’t done.

Led by Luis Scola who finished with 20 points and five rebounds, Houston used a 7-2 run that send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, fatigue went into play as both teams were sluggish at the offensive end. Duncan missed his first three foul shots in overtime but made his fourth try to give San Antonio a 91-90 lead with 2:42 left.

On the ensuing play, Samuel Dalembert’s dunk gave the lead back to Houston 92-91.

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Manu shares his Olympic experience

After completing their mission of gaining an Olympic berth, and winning the FIBA Americas crown for Team Argentina, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili talked (via FIBA.com) about his Olympic experience.

Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina have accomplished their goal, they now eye another shot at Olympic glory in London next year. (Photo via FIBA.com)

Ginobili is probably Argentina’s most famous player ever and one of the team’s leader together with Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola.

 “This is one of the best teams I’ve ever played in and the one that makes me more proud to be part of,” said Ginobili, who notched six three-pointers in Argentina’s 81-79 win over Puerto Rico in semifinals.

Ginobili repeated once and again how stressing the semifinal was, but also how happy he was of having achieved a new goal.

“The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world. The only fact of living in the Olympic Village is amazing. When you go out for a walk, you see (Usain) Bolt, (Kenenisa) Bekele, the best swimmer in the World.

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Argentina beats Brazil for FIBA Americas crown

In their quarterfinal match against Argentina, San Antonio Spurs’ Tiago Splitter and Team Brazil came out victorious.

With both teams already earning spots in the 2012 London Olympics, the game was mostly for pride, but there is more at stake — the FIBA Americas Crown.

Luis Scola and Argentina got their revenge against Splitter and Brazil, then won the 2011 FIBA Americas crown. (Photo via ESPN)

With the title on the line, and revenge on their minds, Argentina started the game with a statement.

They stormed out early outscoring Brazil 21-9 in the opening period behind Luis Scola’s inside game. In the second quarter, Brazil tried to make their way back to the ball game and were within 22-25 on a Marcus Vinicius jumper midway in the period.

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Ginobili, Argentina edged Puerto Rico; gains Olympic berth, and setup Finals clash with Splitter and Brazil

Losing only one game in eight matches at the FIBA Americas Championship, and having been beaten Puerto Rico early in tournament, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and Argentina appeared to be the heavy favorites to beat Puerto Rico again in their semifinal game but that wasn’t the case.

Spurs' Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina gained their ticket to the 2012 London Olympics and setup a Finals showdown with Tiago Splitter and Brazil.

Both teams started out strong, and were tied at 13 in the 4:33 mark of the first quarter, when Team Argentina went on 9-0 blast to build a nine-point lead, 22-13 and finished the period up by five 29-24.

However, Dallas Mavericks’ Juan Jose Barea and Puerto Rico have other plans in mind, outscoring Argentina in the second quarter 20-11, to take a 44-40 lead at halftime.

Led by Ginobili in the second half, Argentina surged into a comeback.

Manu hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 48 early in the third quarter and then made another 3 with 5:27 left in the period as Argentina take a 54-51 lead.

But Barea made a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game once again at 54 and then assisted on another three-point basket for a 57-57 deadlock.

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Manu, Argentina bounced back against Dominican Republic; Splitter, Brazil mauled Puerto Rico as both teams move onto semifinals

Brazil and Argentina won their final games in the second round at the FIBA Americas Championship on Thursday, setting the matchups for the deciding semifinals.

Manu will lead Argentina against Puerto Rico in Saturday's semifinal match.

San Antonio Spurs teammates Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter played for their respective home countries and handled separate foes with success.

One night after losing to Brazil, Ginobili and Argentina bounced back in a big way, overpowering the Dominican Republic 84-58.

Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets had 25 points to lead Argentina, while Ginobili added 17 points.

Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks had 16 points to lead the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile,  Splitter and Team Brazil remained undefeated in the second round of the tournament with an easy 94-72 win over Puerto Rico.

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Splitter, Brazil handed Argentina’s first loss at FIBA Americas

San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina, and Tiago Splitter’s Brazil had a long list of international battles.

Both teams were equally matched and consider themselves biggest rivals.

Even with not much at stake, other than positioning in the next round, Argentina and Brazil lived up to the hype.

Tiago Splitter and Brazil handed Argentina's first loss in the FIBA Americas Championship. (Photo via ESPN)

Brazil took the first quarter 19-17, before Argentina countered in a low-scoring second quarter, which Argentina won, 11-8 as they held a 28-27 lead at halftime.

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Biggest rivals, Argentina and Brazil to meet at FIBA Americas quarter final match

San Antonio Spurs teammates Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter will battle it out later today as Argentina and Brazil meet at the FIBA Americas Championship tournament.

Over the past years, they have equally split wins in their last four continental clashes.

Both teams have already secured a semifinal spot but will be competing for a better position in the final standings.

Argentina remain unbeaten in the tournament after six games, while Brazil only lost to the Dominican Republic.

Argentina and Brazil have played four times in the last three FIBA Americas tournament, including a qualifying match for the 2008 Olympic Games.

In 2005, they faced each other on the final game, even though Argentina was already qualified to the 2006 World Championships as the Athens 2004 Gold Medal winners.

Brazil prevailed 100-88 thanks to an extraordinary performance from Tiago Splitter, who had 25 points and seven rebounds.

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Ginobili leads Argentina to victory over Venezuela at FIBA Americas

After beating Canada using their defense, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina had a terrific offensive game against Venezuela.

Manu Ginobili led Argentina to their sixth straight victory at the FIBA Americas Championship.

The Argentine nationals raced out into a 10-point lead after the first quarter and held a 51-43 lead at the half.

Venezuela won the third quarter 29-28 and were within striking distance 72-79 heading into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Ginobili and Argentina made sure that there were no serious comeback attempts as they outscored Venezuela 32-21 to preserve the 111-93 victory.

Argentina is 2-0 in the quarter final round and remains the only unbeaten team at the FIBA Americas Championship tournament after six games and looked primed to clinched one of the two Olympic berths for the 2012 London Games.

Ginobili led the Argentines with 26 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals and shot a scorching 71.4 percent from the field including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in just 26 minutes of action.

Philadelphia Sixers’ Andres Nocioni added 19 points and seven rebounds, while Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola finished with 17 points for Argentina.

Hector Romero had a team-high 21 points for Venezuela.

Ginobili and Argentina will face perhaps their toughest challenge in the tournament tomorrow against Tiago Splitter and Team Brazil at 18:00 (GMT -3) in Mar del Plata.

Ginobili, Argentina beat Canada at FIBA Americas second round opener

San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina began the second round of the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship with a 79-53 win over Spurs’ rookie Cory Joseph and Team Canada.

With the win, Argentina pushes their undefeated record to 5-0.

Canada started the game strong, holding their own against the lone undefeated team in the tournament, but after a late run, Argentina took a 21-9 first quarter lead.

The Canadians continued to play hard in the second quarter, with Kelly Olynk leading the charge and cut the deficit to five points halfway through the second quarter.

However, Argentina went on a 12-2 run to take a 15 point lead, 37-22 at halftime.

The third quarter started off fast for Canada, with Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony and veteran Carl English scoring on back-to-back possessions which cut Argentina’s lead to 11.

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