Spurs 105, Hawks 83
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
This blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks looked downright polished.
Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair both scored 17 points, Tiago Splitter had 16, and an unlikely cast of role players starred as the Spurs handed the surging Hawks their first lopsided loss of the season, 105-83 on Wednesday night.
It was a convincing win over the Southeast Division leaders after the Spurs had lost two of their previous three - including one to Sacramento at home - and barely squeaked past woeful New Orleans on Monday night.
''The bench has to perform,'' said Spurs guard Tony Parker, who finished with 15 points. ''The bench has to bring something.''
The reserves brought plenty against the Hawks.
Atlanta's few losses this season included a triple-overtime heartbreaker to LeBron James and, and a two-point defeat to Derrick Rose and Chicago. But in this 22-point blowout, the Hawks (13-6) got manhandled by the Spurs, who had been underperforming.
''I was not expecting them to go off as well as they did,'' Hawks coach Larry Drew said of San Antonio's bench, which outscored Atlanta's reserves 51-27.
Yet, a bright spot for the Hawks was the return of Hinrich, who Atlanta has missed despite its solid start. Hinrich started 22 of 24 games for the Hawks last season after coming over in a trade from Washington.
''It felt pretty good tonight. I'm happy,'' Hinrich said. ''The last thing I wanted to happen was to come back and have some sort of setback, or wasn't able to just do the things I needed to do to contribute.''
The loss was a rare embarrassment for the Hawks, who had won six of seven.
Tim Duncan scored six points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spurs.
The Spurs shot 51 percent from the floor, marking the first time this season that Atlanta has allowed an opponent to make more than half its shots. The performance by the Spurs' bench satisfied coach Gregg Popovich, who was so irate with his starters at the start of the second half that he called a timeout one minute into the third quarter.
He subbed out everyone but Duncan.
The Spurs have been practically auditioning scorers without Ginobili, who could miss at least another month because of a broken left hand. Parker has been the lone constant on offense, yet even the 29-year-old star entered the game shooting his lowest percentage (46 percent) in a half-decade.
He stumbled early against the Hawks and finished 5 of 13. The reserves picked up the slack.
Bonner, the 3-point gunner stumbling through a career-worst shooting slump, eclipsed double digits for the third time this season and tied a season high with five 3s. Splitter, who scored a career-high 25 points in a weekend loss to Houston, was in double figures for the fifth straight game.
''I had the first couple go down. It always makes things easier,'' Bonner said.
Even little-used rookie point guard Cory Joseph scored a season-best eight points in 19 minutes. The Spurs started the second quarter with the combination of Joseph, Splitter, Bonner, Gary Neal and Danny Green, who made for a surprising scoring unit that doubled San Antonio's lead to 41-28 in a span of six minutes.
Green finished with 10 points.
The Spurs improved to 10-1 at home, but are 2-6 on the road. They have only three more home games before they spend much of February away because of an annual Rodeo Road Trip.
Notes: The Hawks haven't beaten the Spurs on the road since Duncan entered the NBA in 1997.