SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 12 (Ticker) --
The San Antonio Spurs had too much Tim Duncan
and the Toronto Raptors did not have enough Vince Carter
Duncan had 28 points and 13 rebounds and Carter sat out the second half with a bruised right calf as the Spurs cruised past the Raptors, 108-95, for their fifth straight win.
Duncan and Carter converged at last season's All-Star Game, when Carter soared to partially block Duncan's potential game-winning shot in a fantastic finish to the mid-season affair.
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Tim Duncan doesn't let a pair of defensive Raptors faze him.
D. Clarke Evans
However, there was not much of a showdown in this one. Carter, who came in second in the NBA in scoring at 27 points per game, got off to a slow start as the Spurs took the lead for good in the second quarter.
With 1:26 remaining in the half, Carter departed with an injury he appeared to suffer in an an earlier sequence. He did not return and his teammates had no answer for Duncan, who scored 13 points in the third quarter, helping San Antonio break it open.
"We turned our aggressiveness up in the second and just kinda stayed in the game," Duncan said. "After the first (quarter) I was able to get in a rhythm."
"He was big," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We were in it after the first half and in the third, he took over. It seemed like every time he shot the ball in the third, it went in."
Steve Smith scored 17 points for the Spurs, who improved to 10-1 at home and 15-4 overall, the best start in franchise history.
Rookie Tony Parker added 11 points and Bruce Bowen and Charles Smith chipped in 10 apiece for San Antonio, which shot 53 percent (42-of-79) from the field and held a 44-30 rebounding advantage.
Alvin Williams scored 16 points and Keon Clark added 14 for the Raptors, who attempted just seven free throws and lost for the fourth time in five games. Carter scored six points on 3-of-10 shooting.
"It's real sore right now," Carter said. "I'm a strong player and actually in the second half I couldn't make it to the court."
The Raptors also were without All-Star forward Antonio Davis, who again sat out with a sore left knee.
Carter's jumper opened the second period and gave the Raptors a 25-20 lead. The Spurs inched in front before rattling off 10 straight points to build a 47-36 lead with 2:59 to play in the first half. Parker scored five points in the surge.
San Antonio led 54-47 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 10-2 burst fueled by four points from Duncan. The Spurs closed the quarter with an 8-0 spree to extend the advantage to 86-68. Duncan made 4-of-7 shots and 5-of-6 free throws in the period.
"We started playing well on the defensive end and that led not to some easy buckets, but some buckets where we felt comfortable and got Tim going," Spurs guard Antonio Daniels said. "Tim did a great job of carrying us for a while and that's when we are at our best."
The Spurs were playing for the first time since Saturday and Duncan said that gave him some problems getting in sync. San Antonio visits Phoenix on Friday and hosts Utah on Saturday.
"It will be nice to get the team rolling," Duncan said. "It's tough to play one day, then a week later. It's tough to get your rhythm down."
David Robinson grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who had lost two of their last three home meetings with the Raptors.
Tracy Murray scored 13 points and Morris Peterson added 12 for Toronto, which shot 50 percent (43-of-86).