Spurs 104, Bobcats 85

The Charlotte Bobcats still can’t find a way to win on the road,

and the San Antonio Spurs are still solid at home.

Now the road beckons for the Spurs – and they’re not much better

out there than Charlotte.

Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and San Antonio beat the Bobcats

104-85 on Friday night to give the Spurs the momentum of

consecutive wins before starting a three-game West Coast swing on

Sunday that will be their longest road trip yet.

“We only have ourselves to deal with,” on the road Spurs coach

Gregg Popovich said. “There is no family or friends around, so

we’re stuck with each other.”

Stephen Jackson had 23 points for the Bobcats, who fell to 1-9

on the road and won’t get any breaks in Dallas on Saturday night

against the Mavericks – a team the Bobcats have never beaten.

The Spurs, meanwhile, have gotten 10 of their 11 wins this

season at home but are just 1-5 on the road. Then there’s this: the

Spurs have already played 14 home games, and will only play 12

after Feb. 1 for the stretch run.

San Antonio will play the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday before

going to Phoenix and Golden State.

“If we come back here and build on that, we’ll feel good about

ourselves,” said Tim Duncan, who scored 17 points. “Those are

some very winnable games for us.”

This was nearly a winnable game for Charlotte, too. The Bobcats

nearly rallied from a 22-point deficit in the third quarter, making

road win No. 2 look possible for a moment.

The Spurs led 65-43 two minutes into the second half when

Charlotte began to push. Gerald Wallace scored 12 of his 18 points

in the third, the league’s best defense held San Antonio to five

field goals in the quarter and the Bobcats went on a 28-7 run.

But trailing 72-71 to start the fourth was as close as Charlotte

would get. The Bobcats crumbled again quickly, letting San Antonio

shoot 71 percent in the fourth while being outscored 32-14.

“We didn’t get to the free-throw line and we took some bad

shots,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. “We had a great

comeback and we did some great things. We also did some unfortunate


It was not the prettiest game: the Spurs and Bobcats combined

for 49 personal fouls and 47 turnovers, including a season-high 28

for San Antonio.

But the Spurs nonetheless continued their dominance over

Charlotte, improving to 10-1 in the all-time series. Dallas is the

only team in the NBA that Charlotte has never beaten.

Boris Diaw scored 10 and was Charlotte’s only other player in

double figures.

Ginobili scored 20 points in the first half, including four

3-pointers, then made just one shot the rest of the game. He

finished 7 of 12 from the floor.

Notes: Charlotte F Derrick Brown crumbled to the floor getting

walloped by the giant arm of Spurs C Theo Ratliff beneath the

basket in the third. Brown pump faked and caught Ratliff in

mid-air, and Ratliff was issued a flagrant foul. Brown stayed in

the game … Spurs coach Gregg Popovich needs three wins for 700

career victories.