Notebook: Spurs 101, Bulls 83



Posted Mar 7, 2013 1:13 AM

By Tim Price, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The San Antonio Spurs got 18 points from both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, as the Spurs' defense shut down the Chicago Bulls in the second half for a 101-83 victory on Wednesday at AT&T Center.

Duncan also had 10 rebounds while Ginobili added nine assists, as Tony Parker sat out his second game with a sprained ankle. The Spurs (48-14) pulled away after halftime by limiting the Bulls (34-27) to 30-percent shooting. Chicago led by as many as 14 points in the first half. Marco Belinelli scored 21 points and had seven assists for Chicago, which was outscored 54-31 in the second half.

QUOTABLE: "We see Miami play and Oklahoma City, the talent they have, the depth. They make crazy shots. And we look at the standings and we are on top. Tim [Duncan] has missed games. Kawhi Leonard has missed. Tony [Parker] is out now. So, [it is] remarkable what we are accomplishing this season . But as we always say no one remembers the No. 1 seed or the 2 seed. We have to keep going."

-- Manu Ginobili

THE STAT: After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half and giving Chicago a 15-4 edge in points off turnovers, the Spurs tightened things up. San Antonio only committed three turnovers after halftime. It allowed the Spurs to slow down the Bulls, who were off and running in the first quarter with 10 fast-break points when they converted all five chances. Chicago had only two fast-break points in the second half by converting one of three chances.

TURNING POINT: The game was tied with 3 ½ minutes left in the third when Nate Robinson hit a pair of jumpers including a 3-pointer. But the Bulls became sluggish on the offensive end and only got more shooting from Robinson. He took all three of Chicago's shots the rest of the quarter, including two more 3-pointers, missed them all and the Spurs went to the fourth quarter with a lead they would not lose.

QUOTABLE II: "That's a championship team right there. They do all the little things -- play together, defensively, everyone's on the same page and they make very little mistakes. You've got to give them credit when it is due. They're very good. We've got to be more disciplined."

-- Bulls center Joakim Noah (13 rebounds tonight)

HOT: Patty Mills came off the Spurs bench and scored 13 points off 5-for-6 shooting, his best performance since the fifth game of the season when he hit 8-for-9. But he's heated up his last four games, shooting 14-for-19 with 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He hit all three of his long balls tonight.

NOT: Robinson was 3-for-13 tonight. He hasn't shot 50 percent from the floor in a game since Feb. 11. Since then, he's 30-for-98 (30.1 percent) in 10 games. He's started six of those games and the Bulls are 1-5 in that stretch (3-1 in games he's come off the bench).

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Duncan added five blocked shots to the double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. In the two games since Parker has been injured Duncan has had a double-double and five blocked shots in each game.

INSIDE THE ARENA: After sitting at home on Sunday while missing his first game because of a sprained ankle, Parker was back at the AT&T Center tonight. He's expected to be out for close to a month, but he showed no noticeable limp on the sore ankle.

GOOD MOVE: Boris Diaw hasn't played the last three games with a low-back strain. But he came into the game tonight with the Spurs trailing by six with just less than seven minutes to go in the third quarter. He hit 2-for-3 from the floor and helped the Spurs build a four-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

BAD MOVE: With Kirk Hinrich hobbled with a sore right foot (he missed his second-straight game), Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wavered on keeping Robinson at point. Robinson missed the final three shots of the third period and could only manage one assist, and he sat the entire fourth quarter on the bench.

ROOKIE WATCH: Marquis Teague played the entire fourth quarter at point for the Bulls. For the game he was 4-for-8 (3-for-4 on 3-pointers) and had three assists with 11 points in 24 minutes.

NOTABLE: The Bulls opened the game shooting 3-for-15, and four of those misses came on blocked shots by Duncan. ... Robinson went 1-for-8 in the first quarter, the only basket coming off an uncontested layup after a blind-side steal of DeJuan Blair. ... Gary Neal (left calf tightness) was available for the Spurs but did not play. ... Chicago was without Richard Hamilton (lower back) and Taj Gibson (left knee).

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Friday vs. Utah, Sunday @ L.A. Lakers, Wednesday @ Sacramento. For the Spurs, Friday vs. Portland, Monday vs. Oklahoma City, Tuesday @ Minnesota.