Spurs End Netsí Home Winning Streak
San Antonio 83, New Jersey 73
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 10 (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan recovered from the flu just enough to help the San Antonio Spurs end another big winning streak by the New Jersey Nets.
Duncan made two baskets during a decisive fourth-quarter run and Manu Ginobili scored 22 points as the Spurs won their season-high eighth straight game and ended the Nets' 12-game home winning streak, 83-73.
"He came in (to the locker room) four times to go to the bathroom," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It took him the whole game to get comfortable shooting the ball, but he had energy."
"I wish there had been something a little closer (than the locker room)," Duncan said. "That would've been nice. I made it through. That's about all I can say."
Duncan became the decisive factor down the stretch, making a layup and a jumper while grabbing two rebounds as San Antonio broke open a tie game with 10 straight points. After a 3-pointer by teammate Bruce Bowen, Duncan nailed a 14-foot bank shot over Marc Jackson to give the Spurs a 76-66 cushion with 2:05 left.
"I wasn't 100 percent, but I was just glad to be out there and I thought I helped our team win," Duncan said.
"I think we did a good job of containing him, but he stepped up," New Jersey guard Vince Carter said. "He didn't score a lot of points, but he made shots and got rebounds that were big for them."
New Jersey endured a scoreless stretch of 3:57, going 0-for-5 from the floor before Carter's three-point play with 1:47. But Bowen buried a jumper and Duncan secured another rebound and made a long pass to Tony Parker for a layup to seal it.
The Nets lost at home for the first time since December 14 and failed to match the longest home winning streak in team history. They had their season-high 10-game winning streak snapped by the Spurs in the SBC Center on January 10.
"We were playing pretty good basketball here," Nets point guard Jason Kidd said. "Six minutes left and we were tied and we were confident. But we didn't make baskets or stops."
Parker had 19 points and six assists and Duncan finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three blocks as San Antonio improved to 5-0 on a season-long eight-game road trip.
The Nets were held to their lowest score of the season after managing just 31 points on 34 percent (13-of-38) shooting in the second half. After making 11-of-18 shots in the second quarter, they had a season-low 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting in the third.
Carter, who was named an All-Star on Thursday, scored 19 points on 10-of-27 shooting, including just 4-of-15 after halftime. He has averaged more than seven free throws per game, but went to the line only once.
"He didn't get too many calls," Kidd said. "He has to just keep taking it to the hole and maybe he'll get some calls. Maybe after the All-Star break, once they realize he's an All-Star."
Nenad Krstic scored 17 points, Richard Jefferson added 15 and Kidd collected eight, seven assists and tied a season high with 13 rebounds as the Nets were without starting forward Jason Collins, who is sidelined with a right thigh contusion.
New Jersey bounced back from its third-quarter struggles, opening the fourth with a 10-2 run. Clifford Robinson's layup briefly gave the Nets the lead at 62-61 with 7:51 remaining, but the Spurs answered with 20 of the next 27 points.