Duncan, Spurs Snap Netsí Win Streak
San Antonio 96, New Jersey 91
SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 10 (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs cooled off the red-hot New Jersey Nets.
Duncan had 27 points and 12 rebounds and Tony Parker added 18 points as the Spurs posted a 96-91 victory over the Nets, who had their season-high 10-game winning streak snapped.
New Jersey trailed, 49-41, at intermission but rallied to take the lead with a 16-6 surge that opened the third quarter. Jason Kidd had four points and two assists during the stretch.
"We weren't concerned about the streak," Kidd said. "We were just concentrating on trying to get better every time that we take the floor, and I think that we tried to do that. We had some great looks, we just didn't make them."
The Spurs held a 70-65 advantage to start the final period as they closed the third quarter on a 9-4 spurt.
Cliff Robinson's dunk cut the deficit to 72-67 with 10:56 remaining, but the Nets went scoreless over the next 4 1/2 minutes as the Spurs built a 16-point lead. Duncan scored seven points during that stretch.
"We just came out with empty possessions and some untimely turnovers in the fourth quarter," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "That gave them a separation we never caught up to. We gave ourselves a chance, we just couldn't get it done at the end. We put forth maximum effort. They (Spurs) are obviously a championship team."
Vince Carter was fouled on a 3-pointer by Bruce Bowen with 25 seconds to go and sank all three free throws, closing the gap at 91-86.
"We didn't quit," said Kidd, who made 7-of-15 shots overall. "We kept playing until the game was over. You never know what is going to happen. We played hard and gave ourselves a chance."
But San Antonio made 5-of-8 free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory, although not one that the Spurs were particularly proud of.
"They scored 14 points in the last 39 seconds," said Bowen, who scored nine points. "It didn't end on a high note and that's our attitude about this game right now. It puts a damper on tonight's game. We didn't accomplish what we wanted to as a team because of what happened at the end of the game."
"Well, we won a basketball game," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "They helped us out because they were undermanned. They played more aggressively than we did. They executed better. They were sharper. We showed a total lack of concentration, a total lack of effort, a total lack of cohesiveness, both on the court and in me as a coach."
Manu Ginobili scored 16 points and Michael Finley added nine for the Spurs, who shot 48 percent (30-of-62) from the field, including 6-of-14 3-pointers.
Carter scored 34 points and Kidd added 15 and eight rebounds for New Jersey, which shot 45 percent (37-of-82) overall and 6-of-13 shots from the arc. Forward Richard Jefferson missed the game due to back spasms.
"They are a good team and they play good team defense," said Carter, who added six rebounds. "With them it isn't the first line of defense that you have to worry about, it's the second line of players that make it tough on you. You just have to find ways to score and be effective."