Healthy or not, the Spurs were having a devil of a time closing out games. During their six-game losing skid, twice they lost in the final seconds and once in overtime.
The Spurs went into the fourth quarter Tuesday at Atlanta leading by just one point after trailing after the first quarter and at halftime. This time around, with the Big Three fully healthy, the Spurs reeled off 31 points in the fourth quarter and closed the game out 97-90.
"We obviously did a better job than we've been doing in that regard," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of his team's strong finish.
It was an extremely important win with regards to holding onto the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with just four games to go. The Los Angeles Lakers cut five games into the Spurs' lead during their losing skid, but now it the Spurs are back in control.
"We were a little shaky the last couple weeks," guard Manu Ginobili said. "But we are still out there and we are optimistic, but yet I don't feel that we are playing our best basketball right now."
SPURS 97, HAWKS 90: Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead San Antonio to the win. The Spurs' Big Three put together a strong collective effort, combining for 61 points, led by Tony Parker's 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Manu Ginobili had 18 points and Tim Duncan had another big game with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. The Spurs got a rare win without the benefit of 3-point shooting. They took just eight attempts in the game and made just one. San Antonio trailed 21-16 after one quarter but scored 27 points in the second quarter and 31 in the fourth.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.