Mon, Apr 16, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Duncan helps Spurs to top of Southwest

DIVISION LEADERS:San Antonio showed solid balance as 13 players scored in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, giving the starters some valuable rest time

Reuters and AP, San Antonio, Texas

The San Antonio Spurs clinched the Southwest Division title with a 105-91 romp over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday that kept them on the heels of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference lead.

Tim Duncan equaled Phoenix’s first quarter production, scoring 13 of his 19 points as San Antonio (42-16) galloped to a 35-13 lead.

He also had 11 rebounds in three quarters of playing time.

The balanced Spurs had 13 players score in the game, giving Duncan and other starters valuable rest time.

“We were able to jump on them pretty quickly and we sustained it through the game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. “Sometimes it’s your worst nightmare to jump to a big lead at the beginning of an NBA game. I thought [the players] focused pretty well and did a good job.”

Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker both had 14 points for San Antonio.

Sebastian Telfair came off the bench to score 21 points for -Phoenix, who dropped 1-1/2 games behind Houston and Denver in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

All-Star guard Steve Nash played the first six minutes of the game, then did not return.

“He was not feeling well, and we’re not going to risk one game of putting him back in there and then him missing the rest of the season,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “I didn’t think it merited him going back into the game.”


In Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 28 points and 13 assists to lead Los Angeles past Golden State, moving the Clippers to within a game of the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead.

Blake Griffin added 20 points in the Clippers’ third straight win.

Nate Robinson led injury--riddled Golden State with 28 points.


In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Durant scored 43 points and Russell Westbrook had 35 and eight assists in Oklahoma City’s win over Minnesota.

Durant scored 16 in the final seven minutes for the Thunder to seal the win.

Anthony Randolph had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their ninth straight game and 25th in a row in April dating to 2009.

The Wolves were playing without All-Star Kevin Love, out with a concussion.


In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Roy Hibbert had 23 points and 14 rebounds, including six free throws in the final 74 seconds, to lead Indiana to their fourth straight win, beating Milwaukee.

Danny Granger scored 21 points for the Pacers, who held on despite missing their final nine shots.

Monta Ellis had 20 points for the Bucks, who fell 2-1/2 games behind New York and Philadelphia for one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.


In Memphis, Tennessee, O.J. Mayo scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to rally Memphis past Utah.

The Jazz held a four-point lead early in the final period, but Mayo scored 10-straight points for Memphis to erase the advantage. His three-pointer with 46 seconds left gave the Grizzlies enough of an advantage to win for the seventh straight time at home.

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 26 points, 18 in the second half, and 12 rebounds.

Al Jefferson and Devin Harris scored 20 points apiece for Utah.


In Newark, New Jersey, Avery Bradley hit three straight three-pointers and scored 11 of his 18 points in a game-deciding third quarter as surging Boston beat New Jersey.

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