San Antonio 93, L.A. Clippers 84 (F)

SAN ANTONIO, March 13 (AP)-- If the San Antonio Spurs were the forgotten team in the Western Conference race earlier this season, there is no overlooking them now.

The Spurs won their 13th straight Tuesday night, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 93-84. They haven't lost since Feb. 11.

"Thirteen games ago, we didn't say we needed to win 13 in a row to get back into this thing,'' said Tim Duncan. "We're just trying to get better as a basketball team, so when the playoffs start, we feel we can win games night in and night out.''

With the Dallas Mavericks' 17-game winning streak ending with a 117-100 loss Monday to the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio now owns the league's longest winning streak and its longest of the season.

"It would mean more if we won 14,'' Duncan said. "And if we win 14, then 15. You just want to win the next one. That's what it's about.''

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 25 points. Duncan added 19, Manu Ginobili had 16 and Michael Finley contributed 13 as the Spurs completed a sweep of their four meetings with the Clippers this season.

Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 17 points, while Elton Brand had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Thomas had 15 points, Chris Kaman added 13 and Jason Hart contributed 10.

The Spurs' 46-18 record puts them 3+ games behind the Phoenix Suns, who have won five in a row, for second place in the Western Conference.

"We're not looking at the standings yet,'' Duncan said. "It will figure itself out. We're just worried about ourselves right now. Just trying to play our best basketball.''

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his team made little progress Tuesday and wasted a chance to improve.

"It wasn't the greatest game but we came out with the win,'' he said. "Winning is always more fun than losing.''

The Clippers have lost four straight, including an 88-74 loss to San Antonio in Los Angeles on March 5.

"I thought we missed a lot of good shots,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We had a lot of great shots that we just didn't finish. We had a lot of in-and-outs around the basket.''

The Clippers went just 3-of-7 from the foul line and gave up 22 points off of 13 turnovers.

"You make any type of mistake, even the smallest kind of mistake, they capitalize on them,'' Maggette said.

Los Angeles had a one-point lead after one quarter thanks to Hart, who was 4-of-4 from the field in the period. Duncan scored 10 of his 14 first-half points in the second, and Parker added six points in the last 1:11, including a running layup with 6.8 seconds left that gave the Spurs a 50-40 halftime lead.

"What gives us hope is the fact that if we play like we did tonight we will win games,'' Dunleavy said.

Maggette scored six straight Los Angeles points early in the third and had 10 in the quarter. Finley had eight for San Antonio, which extended its lead to 11 after three.

The Clippers got within five early in the fourth before Parker helped the Spurs pull away. Brent Barry's steal led to Parker' layup with 5:33 left to make it 84-75. Parker added two more buckets to push the lead to 88-78.

Notes: Clippers G Shaun Livingston underwent planned reconstructive surgery on his left knee in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday. Livingston tore parts of his anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral meniscus in a victory over Charlotte on Feb. 26. He will start two weeks of rehabilitation in Alabama before returning to Los Angeles. Livingston could be sidelined for a year or more. ... Clippers G Sam Cassell sat out Tuesday's game. ... The Spurs have won nine straight at home against the Clippers.


Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited