Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Mason propels Spurs to 98-67 win over Wizards

TRIBUTE In Salt Lake City, Utah, recently deceased Jazz owner Larry H. Miller’s seat remained empty. After the contest, the game ball was given to his widow Gail

AGENCIES , WASHINGTON AND OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

The Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, left, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert battle for the ball during their game in Miami, Florida, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

The San Antonio Spurs completed an eight-game road trip with a 98-67 demolition of the Washington Wizards on Saturday, holding the hosts to just 10 points in the final quarter.

Roger Mason had 25 points against his former team and Tim Duncan delivered 12 points and 11 rebounds in a lopsided win for the perennial Western Conference powerhouse.

“It was definitively not just another game,” Mason told reporters. “I’m a hometown kid. I grew up a Bullets fan and it is great to come back and play in front of family and friends. Obviously, the fact that I played with the Wizards the last two years added to the excitement.”

Michael Finley added 19 for the Spurs, who have not yet played at home this month.

Washington pulled within nine points of the Spurs with four minutes left before the San Antonio reeled off 13 consecutive points, seven by Mason, to put the game out of reach.

“Tim and Tony [Parker] are our primary options but with Manu [Ginobili] hurt I had an increased responsibility,” Mason said. “I had to step up on the offensive end.”

Spurs guard Ginobili, who has a stress fracture in his right ankle, is expected to miss two to three weeks of playing time.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised his team’s play at both ends of the court.

“Wins on the road are always the sweetest,” Popovich said. “We knocked down shots and our defensive intensity was very high.”

Caron Butler scored 24 points for the Wizards (13-43), who have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Antawn Jamison added 16 and Darius Songaila 15 but overall the Wizards made just a third of their shots, to the annoyance of interim head coach Ed Tapscott.

“Anything that you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse,” Tapscott said.

JAZZ 102, HORNETS 88

At Salt Lake, City, Deron Williams had 20 points and 13 assists as Utah Jazz honored the memory of Larry H. Miller with a win over the New Orleans Hornets.

The Jazz held a pregame moment of silence and the players wore patches with the initials LHM as Miller’s courtside seat remained empty during a game he would have especially enjoyed.

The Jazz improved to 10 games above .500 for the first time this season and after the buzzer, Williams walked the game ball across the court to hand it to Miller’s widow, Gail, and hugged her.

Miller, 64, died on Friday of complications from diabetes.

WARRIORS 133, THUNDER 120

In Oakland, California, Stephen Jackson scored 26 points and Corey Maggette added 25 in Golden State’s win over Oklahoma City, giving coach Don Nelson his 1,300th victory.

Nelson is just the second coach in NBA history to reach the milestone. The Warriors’ fifth victory in seven games was vintage Nellieball, with his Warriors reeling off their fourth 120-point game of the month to compensate for their indifferent defense and 17 turnovers.

Kevin Durant scored 32 for the Thunder, who have lost five straight. Russell Westbrook added 31 points and 11 assists, but Oklahoma City dropped to 3-24 on the road.

HEAT 97, 76ERS 91

At Miami, Dwyane Wade had 25 points and nine assists as Miami beat Philadelphia.

In other games it was:

• Mavericks 116, Kings 95

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