Spurs 90, Kings 80

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SAN ANTONIO (AP)—The Sacramento Kings played San Antonio twice this week— the first time with Peja Stojakovic, the second without him. The Kings lost both times, but on Thursday they were more competitive minus their No. 2 scorer.

Manu Ginobili scored 25 points and Tim Duncan added 20 for the Spurs, who fended off a late rally for a 90-80 win.

Stojakovic, averaging 20.3 points, sat out with back spasms. The Kings lost the previous meeting by 30 points.

“We are not happy just because it was closer,” Sacramento’s Chris Webber said. “A loss is a loss.”

The Kings cut San Antonio’s lead to 78-77 when Webber stole the ball and passed to Brad Miller for a layup with 5:06 left.

The Spurs then went on an 8-0 run as Robert Horry made three free throws, Bruce Bowen hit a 3-pointer and Duncan worked inside for a layup over Miller.

Sacramento missed nine of its last 10 shots after Miller’s layup.

“The only way we are going to win this game is to play good (defense),” Horry said. “We were very fortunate that we contested shots and they missed those shots.”

Bowen finished with 14 points, 10 of them in the second half. Tony Parker finished with 12 points, and Duncan had 12 rebounds.

“We didn’t play our best basketball,” Duncan said. “We gave them too many opportunities to get back in the game.”

Miller scored 19 points, Mike Bibby 17 and Webber 16 for Sacramento, which trailed by double digits several times. Matt Barnes, starting in place of Stojakovic, had eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.

Kings coach Rick Adelman said his team held its own, but that San Antonio executed better down the stretch.

“Obviously they are the best team in the league right now,” Adelman said. “They hurt us getting to the basket—Parker in the first half and then Ginobili in the second half.”

Parker had a hand in 10 of the Spurs’ first 12 baskets, scoring four of them and recording assists on six others. San Antonio fed off Parker’s ability to penetrate in building a 23-11 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter.

Sacramento shot 5-for-8 to finish the first quarter and then made its first five of the second quarter to take its only lead of the game, 35-34.

On the go-ahead basket, Miller hit Darius Songaila with a long toss for a breakaway dunk while Malik Rose, assigned to defend Songaila, was hiding his face in his jersey after a turnover.

The Spurs regained the lead with a 13-2 run beginning with a 16-foot jumper by Ginobili, who ended the half with 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting.


Jerry Reynolds, Sacramento’s director of player personnel, said Stojakovic’s back has been bothering him recently, but he is expected back in the lineup when the Kings play in Houston on Friday night. … Duncan will be soon be found in the cereal aisle on a new Wheaties box unveiled at halftime. … San Antonio won the season series, 3-1. … The Kings play 14 of their next 19 games on the road. … Sacramento had 22 assists, 14 more than in Sunday’s loss.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
C. Webber C. Webber
6-17,  16 Pts
8 Rebs, 6 Assists
 San Antonio
T. Duncan T. Duncan
8-18,  20 Pts
12 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders