Spurs 112, Hornets 89

Preview | Box Score | Recap

SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Tim Duncan made a successful return to San Antonio’s lineup, with a lot of help from Beno Udrih and Brent Barry.

Duncan had 18 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes to help the Spurs rout New Orleans 112-89 on Monday night. He missed the previous two games—both losses—because of a sprained right ankle and tightness in his back.

“I felt really good, actually,” Duncan said. “Beno took open shots. Brent did the same thing. Everyone shared the ball real well.”

While Duncan returned, point guard Tony Parker missed his first game of the season because of a quadriceps injury, and Manu Ginobili sat out with a groin injury.

With the victory, the Spurs improved to 48-15, tied for the NBA overall lead with Phoenix (48-15) and Miami (49-16).

Udrih, a 22-year-old rookie Slovenia, scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting in his first career start in place of Parker.

Barry added 17 points in place of Ginobili.

“It’s real important for those guys to do that,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, “because that’s the depth we talk about and haven’t seen for about a month.”

Lee Nailon had 18 points for New Orleans, 3-28 on the road.

The Spurs raced to an 11-2 lead and had a 25-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Hornets coach Byron Scott benched 19-year-old rookie J.R. Smith midway through the opening quarter and played him only 3 minutes after that.

“I was upset in his defensive play,” Scott said. “I was upset with his attitude. At 19 years old, if he’s going to act like that, he’s going to sit down for a while.”

Notes

The Spurs won the season series 4-0. … George Lynch missed his second straight game for the Hornets following his mother-in-law’s death. … Nazr Mohammed had his best since joining the Spurs on Feb. 24 in a trade with New York, scoring eight points in 21 minutes.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New Orleans
S. Claxton S. Claxton
7-11,  16 Pts
4 Rebs, 7 Assists
 San Antonio
T. Duncan T. Duncan
6-11,  18 Pts
13 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists