Spurs 93, 76ers 76

For the third time in three nights, the San Antonio Spurs proved

they know how to win short-handed.

Tony Parker scored 21 points and the Spurs, playing without Tim

Duncan, beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-76 on Sunday night.

DeJuan Blair added 19 points for the Spurs, who won for the

seventh time in eight games and swept the season series with the

76ers. Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10

rebounds.

With the Spurs playing the last of back-to-back-to-back games,

coach Gregg Popovich gave the 35-year-old Duncan his second day off

this season. It was the third straight night San Antion played

without one of its stars as Parker sat out with a hamstring injury

Friday at home against the Mavericks and Ginobili missed the win at

New Orleans on Saturday with a hip injury.

”They show a lot of toughness, a lot of character to do that

three nights in a row with different combinations and different

players playing on each night,” Popovich said. ”What’s really

great is that they appreciate or are happy with the success of

their teammates. Whoever’s not playing isn’t hoping something bad

happens so he can get in the game or anything like. They really

pull for each other.”

San Antonio improved to 24-1 at home against the 76ers since the

start of the 1986-87 season, winning the last eight. The 76ers’

last win in San Antonio was in 2004.

Elton Brand led the 76ers with 12 points. Jodie Meeks, starting

for Iguodala, added 11 points. Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday each

added 10 as Philadelphia lost for the second time in its last four

games. The Sixers were also missing one of their starters – forward

Andre Iguodala, who missed the game because of left patella

tendinitis.

Philadelphia trailed by three points at halftime, but San

Antonio’s defense helped force 14 second-half turnovers.

”They did speed us up,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. ”I’ll

give their defense credit. They stripped us around the basket, must

have been six or seven times. And once it started going south, we

couldn’t get it stopped.”

It was the first game Iguodala missed this season. Collins said

the team first found out about the injury earlier in the day and

decided to hold him out as a precaution. He’s expected to return

for Tuesday’s game against the Cavaliers.

”He does so much for us offensively and defensively,” Brand

said. ”He gets easy shots for everybody. His defensive presence

out there … hopefully everything goes well for his knee.”

Before the game, Popovich had said that Boris Diaw, playing in

only his third game for the Spurs, would start for Duncan. But Diaw

came off the bench and Matt Bonner drew the start. Bonner, starting

for Duncan, finished with 10 points, and Danny Green also had 10 to

help the Spurs improve to 20-4 at home.

San Antonio outscored Philadelphia 41-27 in the second half and

held the 76ers to 12-of-38 shooting. It was the second-fewest

points the 76ers have scored in a half this season – they scored 24

in the second half in a loss to Dallas on Feb. 17.

The Spurs scored 19 points off the 76ers’ 14 second-half

turnovers to cruise to victory.

”We went in at halftime and discussed our rotations and

shifts,” Leonard said. ”We bought into the coach’s game plan and

went into the second half ready to play.”

NOTES: The Spurs’ statisticians at the AT&T Center poked

some fun at Duncan, listing his line in the official box score with

a ”DND – OLD.” … Duncan, sitting with the Spurs’ bench, was

called for a technical foul with 2:35 remaining. Joey Crawford had

warned the teams earlier about arguing calls, and Josh Tiven issued

the technical. Crawford ejected Duncan from a 2007 game for

laughing, and the referee later was suspended. Duncan was on the

bench at the time he was ejected. … Spurs G Gary Neal (left

mid-foot sprain) and F Tiago Splitter (mid-back spasms) didn’t

play. It was the second straight game that Neal has missed and

third for Splitter.