Notebook: Spurs 104, Pacers 97



Posted Nov 23, 2012 11:25 PM

By Conrad Brunner, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: At least the Indiana Pacers can take some solace in knowing they made the Spurs work for this one, although they still haven't figured out how to beat San Antonio's traveling basketball clinic. The Spurs outscored the Pacers 13-2 in the final 5½ minutes as Indiana missed its final 14 shots to pull out a 104-97 victory Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It was San Antonio's 11th consecutive victory over Indiana, a streak that dates back to 2007. Tony Parker scored 33 points with 10 assists, Tim Duncan had 22 with 17 rebounds and Manu Ginobili added 13 of his 19 points off the bench in the second half as the Spurs (10-3) wiped out a 17-point deficit to win their fifth in a row on the road. David West scored 22 to lead Indiana (6-8), which plays its next four on the road.

QUOTABLE: "Tony and Timmy were amazing. Manu came alive in the second half and they guided us through it. The defense got a little better in the second half, but Indiana helped us out down the stretch. They missed a lot of layups."

-- Spurs coach Greg Popovich

THE STAT: The last time the two teams met, a 101-79 Spurs rout, Parker, Duncan and Ginobili played sparingly and combined for just 23 points as the role players were dominant. This time, the big three combined for 74 points on 32-for-60 shooting (53 percent).

TURNING POINT: Indiana got two big runs from its bench, 13-1 in the third quarter to build a 70-53 lead and 9-0 in the fourth quarter to put Indiana in front 86-75. But, as the starters filtered back in each time, the Spurs seized momentum. Indiana led 95-91 after a George Hill jumper with 5:30 remaining, but the Spurs scored on five straight possessions while the Pacers missed five point-blank looks at the rim -- four from Roy Hibbert. Indiana missed eight shots in the lane down the stretch.

QUOTABLE II: "It's disappointing. It hurts. You don't like to lose a game like this, obviously, but there were a lot of positives. We're playing, offensively, the style we need to play and the bench came in and had a heck of a run. I thought we got a lot of good looks [down the stretch]. I'll take the looks we got."

-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel

HOT: Parker was a torch early, hitting his first eight shots in the first quarter. He wound up 15-for-23. Duncan shot 10-for-19 while West was 7-for-13.

NOT: Hibbert shot 5-for-8, while Hill was 5-for-5. The Spurs were ice cold from the 3-point line, missing their first 12 attempts and finishing 2-for-17, with Danny Green (1-for-6) and Ginobili (1-for-7) both struggling.

GOOD MOVE: With the Spurs trailing by 13 in the third quarter, Popovich called a timeout and inserted Matt Bonner into the lineup with the second unit. Though Bonner, who hadn't played to that point, didn't score, his ability to space the floor created driving lanes for Ginobili and skewed the Pacers' match ups -- disrupting what to that point had been a fluid rhythm.

BAD MOVE: Because the bench was playing exceptionally well, Vogel could've stuck with his second unit longer in the second half, particularly the fourth quarter. The five reserves combined for just 35 minutes in the second half.

ROOKIE WATCH: Nando De Colo was the only rookie to play and he was inconsequential, going scoreless in five minutes.

NOTABLE: Tyler Hansbrough had a season-high 12 rebounds off the bench for the Pacers, while backup point guard D.J. Augustin had his best game since joining the team with eight points and a team-high eight assists in 15 minutes. ... Paul George followed his career-high 37-point outing Wednesday against New Orleans with 15. ... Hill's seven assists matched his season high for the fifth time. ... Hibbert had 11 rebounds, seven on the offensive glass. ... The Spurs played the second of a six-game road trip without two key rotation players: wings Kawhi Leonard (left knee tendinitis) and Stephen Jackson (displaced fracture of his right pinky). Leonard missed his fourth consecutive game tonight and, though the original prognosis had him missing 10 days to two weeks, Popovich said there is "no chance" he would join the team at any point on this trip. Jackson, who missed his second game, is expected to be out four to six weeks.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Tuesday @ L.A. Lakers, Friday @ Sacramento, Saturday @ Golden State. For the Spurs, Sunday @ Toronto, Monday @ Washington, Wednesday @ Orlando.