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Sacramento at San Antonio

Spurs stop Kings, pick up momentum before facing Mavs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- This is the kind of streak the San Antonio Spurs are used to.

After dropping a season-high four straight games during a March schedule their longtime coach said is the toughest he's ever seen, the defending champions put together two solid wins in two nights to get back on track with just a month before the playoffs.

Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and the Spurs routed the Sacramento Kings 102-89 on Friday night.

"It's great to get a back-to-back, get kind of a little bit of a winning streak going," Duncan said. "The confidence I think is there."

The Spurs on Thursday beat Chicago, who like the Kings have a losing record. The Spurs will try to make it three in a row on Sunday when they visit division rival Dallas, which is two games behind the Spurs in the ever-changing Western Conference standings.

"Great test here on Sunday. It's just good to go into the game feeling a little better than over the last couple of games," Duncan said.

After the Spurs put together an 11-game winning streak starting in February, they went on to drop six of their next seven, ending with the four-game skid.

They're now in sixth in the West, where just a handful of games separate the top eight teams.

Ron Artest scored 23 points for Sacramento -- 17 in the first half -- and Kevin Martin added 20. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Kings, who are 11th in the West and sit more than 10 games out of eighth place.

The Kings tied it in the third quarter, but never got a lead after Duncan put the Spurs up 14-13 in the opening period.

"This is a game we could win. We've come in here and won before," Artest said. "At a certain point in the fourth quarter, we weren't playing for nothing."

Tony Parker added 19 points for the Spurs, Jacque Vaughn scored 11 and Bruce Bowen had 10.

Anthony Johnson, who started in place of an injured Beno Udrih, scored 12 points for Sacramento.

Trailing 79-68, the Kings drew within six early in the fourth, but six straight Spurs points from starting center Fabricio Oberto -- his only scoring of the game -- restored a 13-point advantage with 6:25 to go.

With his squad up 96-80 with 3:09 to play, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich subbed out Duncan and Parker.

The Kings tied it at 58 about 4½ minutes into the third off an 11-4 run, which ended with Martin's technical free throw after Popovich complained about a non-call on Duncan. Bowen also got a technical with 7:10 to go.

More fireworks on the court seemed to rile the Spurs and fuel a 13-5 run to close the quarter and put them up 79-68 with one period to play.

First, Kings center Brad Miller was called for a flagrant foul as Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili drove to the basket with 4:25 left in the quarter.

Then, Ginobili was called for a technical after the same play, but promptly hit a 3 to give San Antonio a 71-63 lead. Parker's fast-break layup off a steal put the Spurs up by 10 with just over two minutes to play.

"I think it is part of the game with the calls," Martin said. "It's always a physical game when you come down here because you know they're tough at home. You've got to match their toughness when you want to get a win."

The Spurs maintained a modest lead for most of the first half and had a 54-47 lead at the break behind a combined 25 points from Duncan and Parker.

Notes

  • Udrih, a former Spur who was with the team for last season's title run, was out for the second straight game with a lower back strain.
  • Sacramento C Spencer Hawes was back after missing a game with a left mid-foot sprain.
  • Spurs F Robert Horry left during the first quarter with a left knee contusion after a collision and did not return. The team said he would have an MRI Saturday
  • In the fourth, the Kings got a delay-of-game technical with 6:17 to play.
  • Martin hit 15 of 17 foul shots for Sacramento.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Sometimes you just have to stand in awe of two-time MVP, four-time NBA champion Tim Duncan. (AP)
Sometimes you just have to stand in awe of two-time MVP, four-time NBA champion Tim Duncan. (AP)

Scoreboard
Sacramento (31-37) 1928212189
San Antonio (46-23) «23312523102
SAC:R. Artest 23 Pts
SAC:M. Moore 9 Reb
SAC:B. Miller 3 Ast
SA:T. Duncan 21 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 13 Reb
SA:J. Vaughn 7 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioSacramento

T. Duncan

R. Artest
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
211332372
Sacramento
R. Artest, SF3810-212-472323
K. Martin, SG372-1215-1721220
M. Moore, PF312-63-49037
A. Johnson, PG295-90-032312
B. Miller, C221-80-06342
J. Salmons, SF232-40-00014
F. Garcia, SF233-52-24139
S. Hawes, C201-42-24214
Q. Douby, SG121-30-01012
S. Williams, PF52-32-33006
S. Abdur-Rahim, PFDid Not Play
L. Wright, CDid Not Play
K. Thomas, PFDid Not Play
B. Udrih, PGDid Not Play
Totals 29-7526-3239112189
 38.7%81.2% 
San Antonio
T. Duncan, PF328-185-6133221
T. Parker, PG326-145-647019
M. Finley, SG304-90-12119
B. Bowen, SF293-42-231310
F. Oberto, C232-42-25146
M. Ginobili, SG273-52-22529
K. Thomas, PF214-60-07018
I. Udoka, SF213-50-01047
J. Vaughn, PG184-93-407111
D. Stoudamire, PG30-10-00200
M. Bonner, PF31-20-01002
R. Horry, PF20-00-00010
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-7719-23382719102
 49.4%82.6% 
Other Games
Min 113 Final
Ind 124
Phi 95 Final
Orl 113
Tor 83 Final
Cle 90
Wash 103 Final
Mia 86
Den 125 Final
NJ 114
Mem 120 Final
NY 106
LAC 102 Final
Port 107
Hou 109 Final
GS 106
Sea 105 Final
LAL 130