SAN ANTONIO (AP)—If Brent Barry’s debut with San Antonio is any indication, the Spurs’ offense might be hard to handle this season.
Barry, signed over the summer for his perimeter shooting, made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s 101-85 victory over Sacramento in the Spurs’ season opener.
The last of the three, with less than two minutes left, helped stop a late rally by the Kings.
“Obviously he can shoot the ball, but what people don’t understand is how good of a basketball player he is,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Barry, who finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting. “He’s a really smart player whose basketball quotient is really high, and that helps our whole team.”
Two days after signing a $66 million, six-year contract extension, Tony Parker went 3-for-16 from the floor for the Spurs and finished with 10 points.
Peja Stojakovic, who scored 15 points for Sacramento, said he noticed a big difference in the Spurs’ offense compared to last season.
“With Manu starting and Brent coming off the bench, they got better,” said Stojakovic, who made two baskets in the first two minutes and then only three more the rest of the way. “They’ve got better shooters, better spacing.”
San Antonio led by 21 points in the fourth period before the Kings went on an 11-0 run, capped by an alley-oop dunk by Chris Webber. That basket cut the difference to 93-83 with three minutes remaining.
Ginobili and Barry then made 3-pointers, and Tony Massenburg hit a high-arching turnaround jumper to end the spurt.
The Spurs improved to 8-0 in season openers since Duncan joined the team in 1997.
Mike Bibby scored 23 points and Webber 18 for Sacramento, which lost for the second time in two nights in Texas. Dallas also scored more than 100 points while defeating the Kings on Tuesday.
“Instead of controlling (the Spurs) and staying off of them, we were letting them penetrate time after time,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “You’ve got to have more responsibility and pride that you are going to keep that guy in front of you.”
Webber and Stojakovic combined to go 12-for-36 from the floor.
A putback by Duncan was San Antonio’s only basket in its first 10 attempts. A 3-pointer by Stojakovic started the Kings on their way to a 13-4 lead in the opening minutes before an annoyed Popovich called time.
“We went to the bench and got our first earful of the year, and we came out and responded,” Duncan said.
The Spurs fought back and took their first lead at 20-19 on a baseline drive by Parker late in the first quarter.
The teams traded baskets for much of the second before San Antonio ended the period with a 13-4 run for a 52-45 lead at halftime.
Duncan had 20 points and 10 rebounds at the break.
The victory was No. 397 for Popovich, all with the Spurs. … Since joining the NBA in 1976, the Spurs are 19-10 in season openers. … Stojakovic missed his third free-throw attempt of the night, ending his streak at 49. Bibby holds the team record of 51 straight. … The Kings complete the so-called Texas Triangle with a game in Houston on Saturday.