Spurs Cruise to Easy Win Over Hornets
San Antonio 111, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 84
SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 29 (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs continue to shine on their home floor.
Michael Finley scored 18 points and Tim Duncan added 17 and seven rebounds as the Spurs coasted to a 111-84 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets, who have lost seven of their last eight road games.
"It was an unspoken motivation for us against them tonight," said Finley, who made 7-of-13 shots. "We have veterans who remember what happened in the last game against them. They beat us pretty well at their place, and we just wanted to establish ourselves early and often and I think we did that tonight."
San Antonio looked very impressive at the SBC Center, pushing its league-best record to 14-1. It wasted no time building a 35-22 advantage at the end of the first quarter and coasted from there on.
"It was a good all around performance," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "I thought we moved the basketball well. We found the open shooters. The offense was very sharp and the defense did a good job individually and team wise."
"In the first quarter we took bad shots and they were getting open shots and we were very indecisive on the defensive end," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "Everything we could do wrong, we did wrong."
Tony Parker's layup with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter helped push the Spurs lead to 77-56. San Antonio forced 19 turnovers and held a 56-34 advantage in points in the paint.
"We were mad at what happened with them in our last game and we were more aggressive tonight," said Parker, who scored 16 points. "We played very unselfish and played good defense tonight. Everybody shared the ball tonight and we used the last loss to them as energy tonight."
Swingman Manu Ginobili had 14 points and four assists in 17 minutes in his second game back after missing eight due to a sprained foot. The Spurs shot 73 percent (11-of-15) from the arc to tie a season high in 3-pointers made.
"I am feeling good," said Ginobili, who went 4-of-5 from the field. "I am not trying to rush anything right now. I am getting back into basketball shape right now. I was able to attack the rim and not think about the ankle. It was a good game for us and we made the little adjustments we needed to make in order to get the win tonight."
Reserve Brent Barry scored 10 points and Parker added seven assists for San Antonio, which went 43-of-73 shots (59 percent) from the field overall and blocked eight shots.
David West was the lone bright spot for the Hornets, scoring 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Rookie Chris Paul scored just six points, going 3-of-12 from the field.
"I told them coming into this game you have a team over there who are the world champions," Scott said. "They remember the last time they played us and they're going to try to destroy us and I don't think the players believed me, but now I think they understand exactly what I was trying to say to them."