One couldn't blame Duncan for his advice as Ginobili had gone 0-of-6 from the field through the first three quarters of the game.
Ginobili didn't listen to the Spurs' star center.
The Spurs' super sub hit four 3-pointers in the period, his only field goals of the entire game, to lead the Spurs to an 89-82 victory over the 76ers Monday night.
"I think I was talking in the middle of his shots ... two of his shots, telling him to swing the ball," Duncan said. "And he's firing away anyway, and they go down for him. So he felt it. And he gets one to go down, he gets two to go down. All of a sudden he's on a hot streak and you want him taking those shots."
Ginobili scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by the two pairs of consecutive 3s.
"I heard him," Ginobili said of Duncan's counsel. "But I told him that I was feeling good and I was going to take them."
"He never listens to me," Duncan joked.
"We played good basketball up until the last couple of minutes," said Philadelphia guard Andre Miller, who sat out the entire second quarter after getting poked in the eye in the first. "They hit a couple of big shots. That was the game right there."
Heading into the final 12 minutes the 76ers were up 65-64 after San Antonio's miserable third quarter allowed them to take the lead.
Philadelphia went up by as many as five early in the fourth, but the Spurs crept up to tie the game three times before Ginobili helped them pull away. His back-to-back 3s gave the Spurs an 81-77 lead with 3:41 to play.
"We took our chance with them making 3s, and they made 3s toward the stretch of the game," said 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks. "For the most part we played a heck of a game."
Ginobili hit another pair of consecutive 3s to give San Antonio an 89-80 lead with 1:46 on the clock and effectively put the game away.
"We usually go out on the floor and play hard night-in and night-out. It's a shame that they haven't been rewarded for their efforts," Cheeks said. "At some point it's going to turn for us."
The Spurs took the lead until midway through the third quarter with 1:33 to go in the first when Francisco Elson broke a 24-all tie by tipping in Ginobili's 3-point miss with his back to the basket.
And while the Spurs again struggled early, as they have in recent games, they managed to take a 27-24 lead into the second quarter.
An 11-1 run that began with Duncan's surprisingly easy dunk over Dalembert gave San Antonio a 47-35 advantage with 4:38 to go in the second quarter. The Spurs were up 52-46 at halftime.
But the Spurs fell apart during the third. They hit just 3-of-22 (14 percent) from the field and scored 12 points, a season-low for scoring in the third quarter. They missed 16 straight shots in the last 8:33 of the quarter.
"You have to hope that people will keep shooting their shots and we keep getting open shots," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "Sometimes they don't go in but you can't let that make your defense go sour."
Philadelphia wasn't exactly on a scoring rampage, either, hitting just 4-of-16 from the field (25 percent). But the 76ers did enough to take a 59-58 lead with 7:32 to go off a free throw from Iguodala, who scored eight points in the quarter.
The 76ers took the lead again, 61-60, with 6:23 to go off Iguodala's jumper.
- Popovich said injured G Brent Barry (torn muscle in left calf) is probable for Thursday's home game vs. Cleveland.
- The Spurs celebrated the franchise's 35th anniversary with a halftime tribute Monday.