SEATTLE, Jan. 31 (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili
got the San Antonio Spurs'
cross-country odyssey off to a terrific start.
Ginobili scored 23 points to lead five players in double figures
as the Spurs posted a 103-84 victory over the Seattle
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The Spurs, who do not play at home until after the All-Star
break, began their seven-game road trip - which also hits the
East Coast - by avenging two earlier losses to Seattle.
scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and
added 17 points for the Spurs, who have won seven out of
their last eight games and raised their record to an NBA-best
"This was a big game for us and we approached it as such,"
Duncan said. "It was unfortunate they were without their head
coach and their best player. But we have lost too many games to
teams playing without their best player. It was a conscious
effort not to start with a letdown."
Seattle played without leading scorer Ray Allen
, who missed his
first game this season because of a viral infection. SuperSonics
coach Nate McMillan
was away from the team because of the death
of his mother in Raleigh, North Carolina and was replaced by
associate coach Dwane Casey.
"Obviously the Sonics gave us a huge break and we took advantage
of it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "Not having Ray is a
very big difference because he is a great player."
Parker, who pulled down 10 rebounds to tie his career high and
scored 17 points for his second consecutive double-double,
savored the win but missed playing against Allen.
"I was very disappointed," Parker said. "I wanted to play them
with everybody. We were very motivated for that game because we
don't like losing two in a row to them. But I was looking
forward to the challenge."
Ginobili scored nine of his points and helped limit Seattle to
12 points in the second quarter to help San Antonio take a 48-34
advantage into intermission.
The Spurs, who scored the final eight points of the first half,
pushed the margin to 21 points after opening the third quarter
on an 11-4 burst that featured a 3-pointer and a driving layup
, Antonio Daniels
points apiece for Seattle, which ended January with an 8-7
record after going 22-6 in November and December.
Murray, who replaced Allen in the starting lineup, made only
5-of-17 shots and committed five turnovers.
"San Antonio is a championship team for a reason," Casey said.
"They brought it in every area of the game. I thought they
established how they wanted to play early in the game by
attacking their hoop and we didn't. They established that early
and we just couldn't recover from it."
Sonics center Jerome James
played one his best games of the
season with 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
"We had a game plan, but we didn't execute it at all," James
said. "We let Ginobili roam around at will. We missed Ray and
we missed Nate. But we didn't do the job we get paid to do."
Allen's status is uncertain for Tuesday's game against in
Sacramento. McMillan is not expected to return until Saturday's
contest against the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.