Spurs 109, 76ers 85

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- First-year Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown, a former San Antonio assistant, referred to his old team as "a machine" before the Sixers faced the Spurs on Monday night.
San Antonio then plowed over Philadelphia, 109-85, as guard/forward Danny Green scored 18 points and point guard Tony Parker added 14 points and nine assists.
It was the fifth consecutive victory for the Spurs (7-1), who rested All-Star center/forward Tim Duncan.
Guard/forward Evan Turner scored 20 points to lead the Sixers (4-4), who lost for the fourth time in five games. Center Spencer Hawes contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds.
As was the case throughout the early portion of the season, the Sixers struggled to defend the 3-point arc. They began the night having allowed more 3-pointers than any team in the league, and they saw the Spurs go 13-for-28 from the arc, led by Green's 5-for-7 output.
San Antonio, which led by as many as 29 points, shot 49.4 percent from the floor in all, 53.1 percent in the first three quarters.
None of this came as a surprise to Brown, who was part of the San Antonio organization for all four of its championship runs (1998-99, 2002-03, '04-05, '06-07). He praised the Spurs from top to bottom before the game, saying everyone is "looking for A's, not B-pluses. It's just day-to-day work, and that's what I'm trying to do here."
He also said he learned many things from San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich: "Humility. Perspective. Defense. Attention to detail. Ensuring that you don't skip steps. And a lot of human things that have nothing to do with basketball."
Popovich called Brown "a great friend" and said he was thrilled Brown got an opportunity to serve as an NBA head coach. It is Brown's first such position, though he had previous head-coaching experience in Australia, notably with that country's national team.
"People will find out shortly that he's for real," Popovich said. "He has a great personality, a great energy. He loves the game and loves people. He'll infect his players with that, and hopefully they'll respond."
Four others cracked double figures for the Spurs: guard/forward Kawhi Leonard (13), guard Marco Belinelli (12), center Tiago Splitter (11) and guard Patty Mills (10). Leonard also grabbed eight rebounds.
Splitter and Belinelli notched five points each in a 17-2 Spurs run at the end of the first quarter, when San Antonio extended a 14-11 lead to 31-13. The Sixers reeled off the first 10 points of the second period, five of those by Hawes, to cut the gap to 31-23.
Still leading by eight later in the quarter, the Spurs closed out the half with a 19-8 spree, giving them a 57-38 advantage. Parker slithered to the rim for three layups in that stretch, and Belinelli, Green and guard Manu Ginobili each knocked down a 3-pointer.
Turner scored 15 of his points in the first half, while Green led the Spurs with 12, all from the arc.
The Sixers never drew closer than 18 in the second half.
NOTES: Spurs F Matt Bonner sat out his fourth straight game with tightness in his left calf. ... Sixers F Daniel Orton suited up after missing the two previous games with a sore right knee, but he did not play. ... Sixers coach Brett Brown gushed about San Antonio's organization and long-term success before the game, but Spurs boss Gregg Popovich downplayed that. "What we did is, we didn't screw it up," he said. "We've had a lot of good fortune. We had David (Robinson). We were fortunate enough to draft Tim Duncan (in 1997). You're talking about a couple decades of possible success, obviously, if you don't screw it up." Brown agrees that San Antonio would not have won as much without those stars, but nonetheless believes the Spurs would have had their share of success without them. "The fact that they did it with great players makes it a heck of a lot easier to talk about," he said, "but I can promise you this: The program would be run correctly, no matter who walked in the door."

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