San Antonio at Golden State

Parker, Duncan keep Spurs in hunt for Southwest Division

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Although the San Antonio Spurs would love to win the Southwest Division, they've won enough championships to realize nobody cares about a division title in June.

Until the race for playoff seeding is decided Wednesday, Tim Duncan and his teammates just plan to keep winning -- which is a bit easier against an opponent with only seven players.

Tony Parker scored 17 points and Duncan added 16 points and 13 rebounds before both stars sat out the fourth quarter, and the Spurs kept pace with Houston atop the division with a 101-72 victory against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Drew Gooden had 20 points and 15 rebounds in his hometown as the Spurs won their third straight to stay even at 53-28 with the Rockets and Portland, who both won earlier in the night. Their three-team race for home-court advantage in the playoffs' first round comes down to all three teams' finales Wednesday -- and even if the Spurs don't get help from the Rockets, Duncan thinks they'll be better off for being pushed.

"We need our rhythm, we need some confidence, and we need to play well against some of the elite teams in the West," said Duncan, who looked fairly sharp after sitting out Sunday night against Sacramento to rest his aching knees. "Whatever happens, happens. We're going to go in there [against New Orleans] and try to take that game and figure out what happens."

If Houston and San Antonio win their regular-season finales on Wednesday, the Rockets will win a complex tiebreaker and get the No. 3 playoff seed, while San Antonio could end up starting the postseason on the road against the Trail Blazers.

Although the Spurs have improved lately, their middling stretch of play over the past month has forced them to root for the rival Mavericks on Wednesday if they hope to win the Southwest.

If San Antonio beats New Orleans and Houston wins at Dallas in their finales, they'll have identical marks in the NBA's first two postseason tiebreakers: their records against the division and the Western Conference. The third tiebreaker is the clubs' record against West playoff teams, which will give the No. 3 seed to Houston.

If the Mavericks beat Houston, they'll surge past New Orleans into sixth place in the West -- and if the Spurs beat the Hornets, they'll meet Dallas in the first round.

"We want to win them all out," Gooden said. "The seedings are like the stock market. Every day, it's changing. Other teams have got to play, and our main thing is to finish out the season winning."

Anthony Randolph had career highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds, and C.J. Watson added 18 points for the Warriors, who had their worst offensive game in more than four years with only seven available players. Injured guard Marco Belinelli again had to dress for the game merely to give Golden State the NBA-minimum eight in uniform.

"We've been showing a lot of heart the last couple of games, to keep competing with as few players as we had," Randolph said.

The tiny contingent that improbably beat Utah last Saturday with 38 points from Watson had little chance against the Spurs, who led by 30 points midway through the third quarter. Golden State scored only 14 points in the second quarter and 13 in the third.

"I thought our defense in the third quarter was the game-breaker for us," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We played real good 'D' in the third, but obviously, the Warriors were at a huge disadvantage. I think having so few players finally caught up with them. They had been working really hard, and to win in Utah was great. It's hard to sustain that with so few guys."

Roger Mason scored 14 points for San Antonio, which finished the second quarter in Oakland on a 19-6 run to take a 57-38 halftime lead. The Spurs surged to a 77-44 lead midway through the third, when three of the Warriors' four starters -- Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf and Anthony Morrow -- were a combined 4-for-29.

"We didn't have much energy. I think we left it in Utah," coach Don Nelson said. "Besides that, we lost our confidence. We missed too many shots, and then they had their way with us. We'll take our licking and move on."

Golden State played one last home game without Jamal Crawford (lower back), Corey Maggette (concussion), Monta Ellis (ankle), Stephen Jackson (foot surgery), Brandan Wright (shoulder) and Belinelli, who has barely played in the past six weeks while battling an ankle injury and turf toe.

The Warriors declined to sign any players simply to fill out the roster -- no surprise for a strange team that occasionally benched Crawford and Jackson when they were healthy earlier in the season.

Notes

  • About the only problem in San Antonio's evening occurred early in the fourth quarter, when Oracle Arena security apparently had to remove a heckler by force from the row of seats behind their bench.
  • Mason banked in a 3-pointer from straightaway just past midcourt at the first-quarter buzzer.
  • Azubuike missed 10 of his first 11 shots for Golden State. He finished 4-for-21 after making his final shot.
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Tim Duncan hauls in one of his 13 rebounds in the Spurs' third consecutive victory.  (Getty Images)
Tim Duncan hauls in one of his 13 rebounds in the Spurs' third consecutive victory. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
San Antonio (53-28) «29282420101
Golden State (29-52) 2414132172
SA:D. Gooden 20 Pts
SA:D. Gooden 15 Reb
SA:T. Duncan 4 Ast
GS:A. Randolph 24 Pts
GS:A. Randolph 16 Reb
GS:A. Randolph 4 Ast
Players of the Game
Golden StateSan Antonio

A. Randolph

D. Gooden
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2416420150
San Antonio
T. Parker, PG277-133-552317
T. Duncan, PF236-144-7134216
M. Finley, SG190-40-00400
R. Mason Jr., SG196-80-012314
M. Bonner, PF153-90-08138
B. Bowen, SF301-40-04003
I. Udoka, SF270-52-46322
D. Gooden, PF227-126-8150320
F. Oberto, C181-30-04042
G. Hill, PG174-83-411113
J. Vaughn, PG121-41-21314
K. Thomas, PF111-10-01102
M. Ginobili, SGDid Not Play
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
M. Williams, SFDid Not Play
M. Williams, FDid Not Play
Totals 37-8519-30592122101
 43.5%63.3% 
Golden State
A. Randolph, SF4510-184-5164224
C. Watson, PG447-154-751318
A. Morrow, SG443-104-483310
K. Azubuike, SF424-211-14129
R. Turiaf, PF231-70-02132
A. Biedrins, C210-30-07160
R. Kurz, SF213-81-21029
C. Maggette, SFDid Not Play
S. Jackson, SGDid Not Play
J. Crawford, SGDid Not Play
M. Ellis, SGDid Not Play
M. Belinelli, SGDid Not Play
B. Wright, SFDid Not Play
J. Davidson, PFDid Not Play
Totals 28-8214-1943112172
 34.1%73.7% 
Other Games
Cle 117 Final
Ind 109
Tor 97 Final
Wash 96
Chi 91 Final
Det 88
Char 87 Final
NJ 91
Orl 80 Final
Mil 98
Min 94 Final
Dal 96
NO 66 Final
Hou 86
Sac 98 Final
Den 118
LAC 85 Final
Utah 106
Mem 110 Final
Pho 119
OKC 83 Final
Port 113