Spurs sit Duncan, still top short-handed BobcatsMar 20, 2011 - 4:07 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - On a night the Spurs chose to sit Tim Duncan, the San Antonio bench stepped up in a big way during a 109-98 win over the short-handed Charlotte Bobcats.
Duncan was given the night off, missing his first game of the season, but the Spurs didn't seem to miss their All-Star forward as the reserves combined for 66 points, led by Steve Novak's 19. Gary Neal added 15, George Hill 12 and Matt Bonner 10, all off the bench.
San Antonio attempted a season-high 34 three-pointers, making half of them, with Novak leading the way with his 5-of-8 effort. The 17 made threes tie a franchise record.
Manu Ginobili was the lone Spurs starter in double figures with 11 points in just 18 minutes. Tiago Splitter, filling in for Duncan, had eight points and six rebounds.
"He (Tiago Splitter) played very well," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "He played very physical, rolling to the basket and finding shooters and Steve Novak played very well. The ball movement was great."
The Spurs, who continue to lead the NBA with a 56-13 record, won for the fifth time in six games.
Stephen Jackson, Charlotte's leading scorer, sat out with a strained hamstring. His offense was clearly missed, as the Bobcats hobbled to their third straight loss and ninth in 11 games. They remained 1 1/2 games behind Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Gerald Henderson led the way with 19 points for the Bobcats, who also received 16 from Boris Diaw.
Neal had seven points in the opening quarter, boosting the Spurs to a 24-13 lead after 12 minutes. San Antonio gave up the first three points, but then scored eight in a row and didn't trail the rest of the game. Neal's three-ball extended the cushion to 18-6 with 2:17 left in the period.
The Spurs shot 13-of-19 in the second quarter and held a 58-41 lead at halftime. The advantage reached as high as 26 late in the third and they were up by double-digits throughout the fourth.
"It all comes with how they share the ball," Henderson said of the Spurs' offense. "No one really holds it. They all seem like they make the right pass every time. They're just so unselfish. If you can keep a defense off balance, you're going to have open shots and if you have the weapons that they have, you're going to have a 17-made-attempts kind of night. That's just the way it goes."
D.J. White had 13 points for the Bobcats, three more than teammates Shaun Livingston and Tyrus Thomas...Charlotte has lost four straight at San Antonio...The Spurs moved to 32-3 at home.
- CHARLOTTE: 98
SAN ANTONIO: 109
Mar 19 10:50 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 68
SAN ANTONIO: 90
End of 3rd
Mar 19 10:21 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 41
SAN ANTONIO: 58
Mar 19 9:38 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 13
SAN ANTONIO: 24
End of 1st
Mar 19 9:09 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 19 8:41 PM
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