Following a gritty win over the best team in the Eastern Conference, the San Antonio Spurs try to avoid a letdown on Sunday when they visit a Seattle SuperSonics club they've dominated this season.

The Spurs (48-20), owners of the third-best record in the Western Conference, defeated East-leading Detroit 90-89 on Friday in a possible preview of The Finals. The win was their second straight and 15th in 17 games since Feb. 13.

San Antonio nearly blew a nine-point lead with less than 2 minutes remaining, and although it hung on to beat a tough Pistons team, Manu Ginobili was disappointed in the team's ineffectiveness down the stretch.

"We didn't execute as well," Ginobili said. "We should have finished five or six points ahead instead of two or three."

While Friday's win didn't come easy, the Spurs have had no trouble against the SuperSonics (27-41) this season. They've won the first two meetings by a combined 51 points, dominating Seattle in almost every facet of the game.

San Antonio is shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, holding the Sonics to just 36.1 percent shooting and outrebounding them by an average of 10.0 per contest. The Spurs have won 13 of their last 16 meetings with Seattle and six of the last eight at KeyArena.

Tim Duncan was held to a season-low six points in his last game against the Sonics on Feb. 25, but San Antonio still won 102-71 to post its most lopsided victory in the all-time series.

The Spurs, who have the top scoring defense in the league at 89.5 points per game, held the Sonics to just 33.8 percent shooting from the floor in that contest.

Despite Duncan's struggles against Seattle a month ago, the nine-time All-Star is still averaging 20.4 points and 13.0 rebounds in his last seven games against the Sonics. He finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds on Friday.

Tony Parker, averaging 23.8 points on 62.7 percent shooting and 6.8 assists in his last six games against the Sonics, scored a game-high 22 points against the Pistons.

Seattle made an impressive late rally on Friday to beat Minnesota 85-82, winning for the second time in three games following a five-game skid. Trailing by nine points with 4 minutes left and playing without All-Star Ray Allen for the second straight contest, the Sonics closed the game on a 19-7 run.

"I just kept trying stuff," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "It's not fun, necessarily, but it's an interesting time because you just keep trying. ... We finally found it."

Allen remains out indefinitely with inflammation in his left ankle caused by bone spurs, and season-ending surgery is becoming more of a possibility. Seattle, which owns the second-worst record in the West, is 5-8 without Allen this season.

Rashard Lewis, the Sonics' second-leading scorer behind Allen, scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter on Friday. Lewis is averaging 24.5 points in his last four games, but has been held to just 18 on 7-of-20 shooting in two appearances against the Spurs this season.

These teams wrap up their season series on April 3 in San Antonio.


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