SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 27 (Ticker) --
There is something about the San
Antonio Spurs that just brings out the worst in the Sacramento
had 25 points and Tim Duncan
added 20 and 12
rebounds as the Spurs posted a 90-80 triumph over the Kings.
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In the final meeting of the season between the Western
Conference rivals, the Spurs kept pace with the high-powered
Kings early and turned up the defense late. San Antonio took
three of the four games between the teams this season, including
handing Sacramento its worst home loss in nine years in the
last contest between the teams.
Unlike that contest, a 103-73 home loss on Sunday, Sacramento
was in this game. But for a team with numerous options on
offense, the Kings never developed a go-to option and
consequently their offense sputtered throughout.
"I don't think they have our number," Kings coach Rick Adelman
said. "Obviously in the regular season they do. But we've been
swept by teams in the regular season and then come playoff time
it's been a different story. You have to go out and play in
April and beyond.
"Obviously they are the best team in the league right now, but I
don't believe in somebody having our number. Maybe if they
beat us by 30 again, then I might buy into that."
Sacramento trailed, 77-69, when Chris Webber
- who was 6-of-17
from the field and battled with officials all game - made a
layup with 7:52 left to spark an 8-1 burst.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
called timeout with 4:58 remaining,
got Ginobili back in the game and the move paid immediate
dividends. Robert Horry
made two free throws to push the lead
to three and Ginobili got a piece of a layup attempt by Brad Miller
Horry added a free throw with 4:14 remaining and Sacramento's
missed a jumper. Bruce Bowen
sank a jumper for
an 84-77 edge and Mike Bibby missed for the Kings.
Miller grabbed the rebound but had an offensive foul. On
Sacramento's next possession, Webber also missed a jumper and
Duncan scored at the other end for an 86-77 lead with 2:38 left.
Miller, Mobley and Webber all missed over the next 60 seconds as
San Antonio sealed its 14th straight victory at the SBC Center.
"They executed and hit big shots down the stretch," Adelman
added. "We just didn't have enough at the end."
"These are huge wins for us," Duncan said. "We didn't play our
best basketball, we gave them too many opportunities to get back
into the game."
Miller led Sacramento with 19 points, making 8-of-13 shots, but
the rest of the Kings combined to shoot 39 percent (25-of-64).
Sacramento has lost five of its last seven games against San
"We are not happy just because it was closer," Webber said. "A
loss is a loss. ... They won three out of four (this season).
"It was a very good win against a very good basketball team,"
Popovich said. "We played better defense in the second half.
... We played hard. It was a very good win for us."
Ginobili agreed with Duncan's assessment but offered a caveat.
"It's very important for us," Ginobili said of the win. "We
can't be satisfied with anything, it's only 45 games and there
is a long way to go. We want to be the best team we can be."
The Spurs led by as many as 12 in the opening quarter but the
Kings took a 35-34 lead on a dunk by Darius Songaila
the second period. Ginobili had a jumper just over a minute
later, igniting a 13-2 spurt in which had and Horry had five
The Spurs led 53-45 at the break.