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Spurs rout Pacers for franchise-best 4-0 start

The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs never in their history started a season 4-0. Not in the George Gervin era. Not in the David Robinson era.

Tim Duncan reached that figure Monday, and the Spurs celebrated the Big 4-0 in an appropriate manner.

Duncan had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead San Antonio to a 101-79 win over the Indiana Pacers at the AT&T Center. The victory lifted the Spurs to 4-0 for the first time in the 40 years since they moved to the city.

"Really? I didn't know that," guard Tony Parker said of the Spurs getting to 4-0 for the first time. "That's great. I'm surprised we're still breaking records. I've been here 12 years, and it seems like we did everything. That's another one. That's great."

It was a group effort, with Gary Neal adding 17 points, Stephen Jackson 12 and Danny Green 10 for San Antonio. DeJuan Blair, seeing his most extensive action this season, had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

San Antonio's 20-point, first-half lead was whittled down to 10 when Indiana's Paul George hit a 15-foot jumper to start the third quarter.

However, the Spurs regrouped and moved the lead back up to 23 on a Tiago Splitter layup with a minute and a half left in the game.

It was almost a repeat performance of Saturday night, when San Antonio gave up a 19-point lead to the Utah Jazz but won 110-100.

"We want to be more consistent," Green said. "We wanted to keep the energy up and grind it out and make the right plays on both ends of the court."

The hot-shooting Spurs were dominant in the paint, scoring 52 points, and they continued their high offensive output, shooting 47 percent from the field.

"They are a complete team," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "(Gregg) Popovich has an incredible system and incredible way of teaching it. It's admirable."

The Pacers, who beat the Sacramento Kings in double overtime on Saturday, fell to 2-2.

Indiana struggled from the field, shooting 34 percent and making just six of 20 attempts (30 percent) from 3-point range.

Former Spurs guard George Hill led the Pacers with 15 points. David West had 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Paul George chipped in 14 points.

"Just keep pounding the rock," Hill said of Indiana's focus in the second half. "It's a game of runs. We knew we they were going to make those runs. We knew they were going to give us their best punch, we just had to stay focused."

The Pacers were forced into 19 turnovers, which the Spurs turned into 18 points. Indiana leads the league in turnovers at 20.7 per game.

"We like to get out and run," Green said. "It makes it easy for us. When they turn the ball over, it makes it easy for us to run. We got a lot of easy looks at the basket."

San Antonio went on a 15-0 run that spanned the end of the first quarter and the start of the second quarter, and it led 47-38 at halftime.

The Spurs were up by as much as 20 when Duncan hit a 6-foot jumper with 3:11 left in the half.

Indiana, which went scoreless the first five minutes of the second quarter, scored the last 11 points of the period to cut into the lead.

Hill lead all scorers with 12 in the first half.

NOTES: Hill played two seasons with San Antonio before being traded for the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard. Popovich remains a fan of Hill, "I watch him closely. We were jumping out of our seats when he made the shots a couple of games ago to win the game for them. We were thrilled," Popovich said. ... Pacers forward Danny Granger, who has yet to play this season, remains sidelined with a sore left knee. The timetable for his return remains unknown. ... Indiana guard Sam Young got his first start of the season, taking the place of Gerald Green. Young finished with three points in 16 minutes. Gerald Green contributed nine points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. ... Duncan recorded his 734th career double-double, the most among active NBA players.
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