Notebook: Spurs 103, Bulls 89



Posted Feb 12, 2013 12:28 AM

Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Without their three top scorers -- Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili -- the San Antonio Spurs still recorded a relatively easy road victory, 103-89, over the Chicago Bulls. The Spurs took the lead midway through the second quarter and never trailed again, building the lead to 15 points in the fourth quarter. Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 26 points for the Spurs, who shot 52 percent from the field. Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 20 points.

THE FACTS II: The Bulls were playing their first home game after splitting six games on a road trip. The Spurs were playing their fourth of nine straight road games (a stretch that will be interrupted by the All-Star Game break). After winning the first quarter, the Bulls went cold in the second quarter and committed numerous turnovers. The Spurs led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter.

QUOTABLE: "One would hope you could play with anybody in the system. But it was a great challenge."

-- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, talking about his star-less lineup.

THE STAT: At halftime, the Spurs and their makeshift lineup had just one turnover. The Bulls had 11 turnovers that had been turned into 22 points.

THE STAT II: The Bulls outrebounded the Spurs 26-11 in the first half, and had a 49-26 rebounding difference in the game. The Spurs did not have an offensive rebound until the fourth quarter, finished with two offensive boards, but scored both times they got the second shot.

THE STAT III: The Spurs made eight 3-pointers (out of 16). The Bulls were 2-for-12 from outside.

TURNING POINT: After Robinson led a third-quarter Bulls charge with 11 points, the Bulls pulled to within one point, 76-75, on a dunk by Taj Gibson with 9:51 left in the game. The Spurs went on a 13-3 run thereafter to ease back into an 89-78 lead.

INJURY UPDATE: Tim Duncan missed the ninth game of the last 11 as he battles a sore left knee. Ginobili has missed five straight games with a tight hamstring. Parker was a late scratch with a right knee contusion. Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich did not play for the sixth straight game because of elbow soreness. Joakim Noah did play for the Bulls despite battling plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and had 15 rebounds.

HOT: In getting his career high, Leonard made 11 of 18 shots and played 43 minutes without a turnover.

NOT: Luol Deng of the Bulls had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, but was just 4-for-13 from the field.

QUOTABLE II: "I don't think we took them for granted. I just think they came out and played harder than us."

-- Gibson

GOOD MOVE: When Popovich rested Duncan, Parker and Ginobili against Miami Nov. 29, he did so without the benefit of injury excuses. This time he had an explanation for all three stars sitting out.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The United Center had two significant visitors Monday. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley attended the game, as did former Bulls forward and three-time NBA champion Toni Kukoc, who still lives in the Chicago area.

ROOKIE WATCH: Nando De Colo from France got his second career start in place of Parker and scored nine points with seven assists and three steals in 33 minutes.

NOTABLE: The Bulls, who are 15-12 at the United Center, are 2-4 in games played at the UC after playing two or more road games. They are 5-6 at the UC in all home games after road games. ... The Spurs play six more road games before getting a home game Feb. 27. After the road trip they do not play consecutive road games until April 14-15. ... The Spurs are 7-2 without Duncan, 9-4 without Ginobili and 2-1 without Parker this season. ... San Antonio's Tiago Splitter has scored in double digits in 16 consecutive games.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Wednesday @ Boston, Feb. 19 @ New Orleans, Feb. 21 vs. Miami. For the Spurs, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Feb. 19 @ Sacramento, Feb. 21 @ L.A. Clippers.