The Spurs have continually found ways to win games this season that could easily go down in the loss column because they barely draw a pulse in terms of intensity and, dare say, interest.
With the New Jersey Nets in town with new point guard Deron Williams, the Spurs could have been ready to be picked off at home, where they've only lost twice this season. Williams and the Nets led by one point at halftime, at which point the Spurs realized that losing at home to a 17-win club is how a six-game lead in the Western Conference suddenly gets a little tighter.
San Antonio stormed out of the locker room and scored 35 points in the third quarter, while holding New Jersey to just 18.
"I thought the third quarter was a good one," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They got 16 or 18 points in the third quarter and that got us the momentum to get going. Every game's not pretty, and in a 48-minute game, you just keep on pushing and hope that you can break it at some point. Our guys did a good job of continuing to just play and work it out and they did."
Which is why the Spurs are now 48-10 and 2-0 coming off the road loss at Chicago going into the All-Star break.
San Antonio now must keep its focus for three more games -- two in a row against Memphis and then at woeful Cleveland -- before coming home to face the Miami Heat on March 4 followed by the Los Angeles Lakers on March 6.
SPURS 106, NETS 96: Deron Williams registered a double-double (14 points, 12 assists) in his debut with New Jersey, but Manu Ginobili led five Spurs in double figures with 26 points. Williams and the Nets led by one at halftime, but San Antonio took charge with a 35-18 third quarter. George Hill came off the bench for 19 points, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Tony Parker had 13 points and 10 assists, and Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair each had 17 points.
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