San Antonio (16-11) at New York (11-18)

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  • Game info: 6:00 pm EST Sun Dec 27, 2009
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The San Antonio Spurs usually beat the New York Knicks, but their last two visits to Madison Square Garden have been very competitive.

The teams have gone to overtime each of the previous two seasons at MSG and meet Sunday night with the Spurs trying to sweep a two-game trip.

San Antonio (16-11) won seven straight over New York (11-18) before the Knicks earned a 112-107 overtime win Feb. 17. New York overcame 26 points and 15 rebounds from Tim Duncan(notes), also ending its 10-game skid against the Spurs with Duncan in the lineup.

The Spurs rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit the previous season in MSG, winning 99-93 on Feb. 8, 2008, as Duncan had 21 points and 14 boards. Duncan has eight double-doubles in 10 career regular-season games at New York.

Last season’s victory for New York may not mean much in 2009-10 since Nate Robinson(notes) keyed the win with 32 points, including six in the extra session. Robinson has not played in the last 12 games for the Knicks, and his agent says the guard wants to be traded.

The Spurs will be trying to continue their success against Eastern Conference opponents. Duncan scored 26 points as San Antonio never trailed in a 112-97 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday to improve to 7-2 against the East.

San Antonio led by 25 points heading to the fourth quarter, and no player logged more than Duncan’s 32 minutes in preparation for Sunday. The Spurs shot a season-high 59.7 percent.

“We moved the ball real well and gave guys an opportunity to make shots,” Duncan said. “Hopefully, that will be contagious and continue to happen.”

Antonio McDyess(notes) scored 14 and fellow reserve Manu Ginobili(notes) added 13 as San Antonio finished with 51 bench points. The reserves made 22 of 29 shots (75.8 percent).

“That’s ridiculous,” coach Gregg Popovich said of the bench’s shooting percentage. “That’s not going to happen very often. It happened tonight and obviously it helped us keep the lead.”

Ginobili matched a season high with eight assists. He had a total of 14 points and eight assists in his last two games.

New York had a three-game win streak snapped Friday with a 93-87 home loss to Miami. It matched the Knicks’ lowest point total of the season and they shot a season-low 17.9 percent (5 of 28) on 3-pointers.

“I think we missed a lot of shots that were open shots. I think we just missed them,” said forward Danilo Gallinari(notes), who had a team-high 26 points.

David Lee(notes) continued his strong homestand with a fourth straight double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Lee is averaging 19.3 points and 15.8 boards in that span.

“If we were hitting our shots today, we could have won by 25 points,” Lee told the Knicks’ official Web site. “But, I’m not really concerned about our shooting.”

The Knicks also had a six-game home win streak snapped. After Sunday, they start a three-game trip and play six of their next eight on the road.

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Sunday, Dec 27