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Spurs 99, Hawks 97

The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan had 31 points and 14 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 99-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at the AT&T center.

The 36-year old Duncan, who recorded his third 30-point/10-rebound game this season, was 12 of 21 from the field and added four blocks in 33 minutes.

Kawhi Leonard added 23 points and DeJuan Blair had 11 as San Antonio (57-20) won for only the second time in a week.

The Spurs have recently struggled, having lost their last three of four games, including a 100-88 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday. The slide has moved the Spurs and Thunder into a tie for the top seed in the Western Conference.

More importantly, Tony Parker was sidelined again, this time with a sore neck.

Nando De Colo started in his place and had six points, four assists and three turnovers in limited action.

The lethargic Spurs struggled from the 3-point line, going 3 for 15, allowing the Hawks to keep it close, despite playing with their leading scorers.

Atlanta was in a similar setback with Josh Smith (left knee), Al Horford (right hamstring), Kyle Korver and Devin Harris (sore left foot) all sitting out tonight's game.

With only eight players in the rotation and coming off a loss to Philadelphia last night, the Hawks shot 42 percent from the field.

They were 22 of 25 from the free throw line.

John Jenkins, coming off the bench, led the Hawks with 23 points. Mike Scott added 22 points, Ivan Johnson 14, Shelvin Mack 12 and Johan Petro 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Mack had back-to-back 3-pointers to end the third quarter down four points 73-69.

Tiago Splitter's hook shot with 2:30 in the fourth quarter brought the lead back up to nine, 94-85.

Atlanta outscored the Spurs 12-5 down the stretch but it was not enough to close the gap.

The Spurs hit five straight free throws, the last two with 18 seconds left to seal the win.

Dahntay Jones was fouled on a 3-point attempt with a second on the game clock, but only hit 2 of 3 to make the final margin.

Leonard had a layup at the halftime buzzer to give the Spurs a 51-40 lead at halftime.

Duncan had 18 points in the first half.

NOTES: San Antonio, which has been plagued with injuries, has had 13 players start this season, the most players with at least one start of any NBA team. ... Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry played for the Spurs (2000-03) and worked in their front office (2003-05, 2010-2012). ... The Hawks' Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles), Lou Williams (torn ACL, right knee) and John Jenkins (mild concussion) were out of action for a total of six players on the injured list. ... Spurs forwards Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner share the same birthday, April 5. They celebrated, along with teammates and friends, Friday night with a party theme based on the movie "Anchorman" at a local movie theater. ... Spurs forward Boris Diaw played nine minutes and had no points in the first half before heading to the locker room with back spasms. He did not return.

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