Duncan, Spurs Too Much for Kings
Posted Nov 20 2006 1:17AM
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 19 (AP) -- Brent Barry already had a buzz cut, making sewing up his head that much easier for the Spurs' medical staff.
As in nine sutures at the surface and another three stitches below to close a deep, 2-inch gash. That's the way it went for San Antonio and Sacramento in the teams' first meeting since the Spurs beat the Kings in the sixth game of their first-round playoff series in May.
"I came to Arco Arena and a hockey game broke out,'' Barry said.
Tim Duncan scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and the Spurs improved their franchise-best road start to 5-0 with a physical 108-99 victory over the ineffective Kings on Sunday night.
"He had a pretty good whack,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Barry. "Did you see it? That was long. Maybe he should get a shot.''
Barry, checked for a concussion and dizziness, wasn't the only one beat up and bloodied. Two other players had to leave for the locker room to get stitches.
Barry scored 11 points before going down with 22.2 seconds left in the second quarter following a hard collision with Ronnie Price. Both players were helped off the court and needed stitches - Barry's on the left side above his forehead and seven for Price on his chin. Both returned, with Barry sporting a giant bandage held on by a headband.
"I knew right away,'' said Barry, who once had six or seven stitches for a cut on his left eyebrow. "It was unfortunate we both got hurt on the play. It's basketball. It's part of the game.''
Sacramento's Kenny Thomas headed to the locker room 5:25 before halftime to get two stitches on his lip after being hit in the mouth by Duncan. Kings coach Eric Musselman thought it should have been Duncan's third foul but nothing was called.
Ron Artest had 22 points and five rebounds, scoring seven of the Kings' points in a 12-3 spurt to start the second quarter. But the Kings couldn't stay with the Spurs and lost their second straight after a four-game winning streak. San Antonio won for the sixth time in eight games in Sacramento.
"They know how to win on the road, they know how to win at home,'' Musselman said. "They've been doing it for many years.''
Kevin Martin added 20 points for his fifth straight 20-point performance and Sacramento - in a stretch with eight of 10 games at home including three of its next four - had a four-game winning streak in Arco Arena snapped.
The Kings had a tough time getting a hand in the face of the Spurs' shooters, who made five of their first 11 3-point tries and eight in all - three by Barry.
``I got it going early and was able to sustain it,'' Duncan said.
Popovich spoke to star defender Bruce Bowen on Friday after the forward was recently called and warned by Stu Jackson, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, about giving jump shooters enough space to land - otherwise he could face a fine or suspension.
"I had a talk with him about just being Bruce Bowen,'' Popovich said. "All that stuff is garbage, be who he is. He's the best perimeter defender in the league.''
Bowen has said he is committed to sticking with his menacing defensive style.
Duncan had back-to-back layins late in the second, Ginobili sank two free throws at 3.2 seconds and Duncan hit a 15-footer at the buzzer to give San Antonio a 56-54 halftime edge.
``That was a big momentum switch,'' Duncan said. "We gave up 50-something points in the first half and still were able to be ahead at halftime.''
Sacramento's depth took another hit - they're already without injured center Brad Miller because of a left foot injury - with guard John Salmons forced to sit out with a bruised right quadriceps muscle.
Notes: Musselman celebrated his 42nd birthday. He is the fourth-youngest coach in the NBA. ... There were 11 lead changes in the first quarter. ... After a first half filled with questionable foul calls, the officials were booed loudly as they left with security at halftime. ... There were two first-half technicals - at 10:13 on Shareef Abdur-Rahim for arguing after being whistled for a foul on Duncan and on the Spurs' Robert Horry for a defensive violation. "I think for a second we let it (affect us),'' Abdur-Rahim said of the calls. ``But you have to be mentally tougher than that.'' ... The Kings had season-lows of 10 assists and four steals.
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