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Duncan steps up to help Spurs rebound from first loss

Nov 5, 2006 - 9:01 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- After getting overshadowed by LeBron James, Tim Duncan got the best of another young star.

Duncan scored 13 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the San Antonio Spurs rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 103-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

A two-time MVP, Duncan on Friday scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, as he tried to rally the Spurs from a 13-point deficit in an 88-81 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, James had 35 points, highlighted by a impressive one-handed dunk over Duncan.

"We didn't play sharp in our home opener against Cleveland and we wanted to get back into the win column," Spurs guard Brent Barry said. "We knew this was going to be a difficult game in transition, running up and down the floor."

The 30-year-old Duncan had a much better result against 22-year-old Chris Bosh, shooting 10-of-15 from the field and grabbing six rebounds.

"Tim Duncan is a superstar in this league," Bosh said. "He's going to get his sometimes and you just have to live with it."

"That's the most active I've seen him in long time," Peterson said of Duncan. "Once he gets position in the low post he doesn't even have to look at the basket and the ball goes in. That's why they call him 'Big Fundamental.'"

Holding just a 49-46 lead at the half, the Spurs did not open up the game until Duncan scored five points during a 13-2 spurt toward the end of the third quarter. Beno Udrih's 3-pointer with 1:26 left capped the run, giving San Antonio a 75-62 advantage.

Coming off a 109-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks here on Friday, the Raptors attempted to rally, closing within 93-88 on a driving layup by Bosh over Duncan with 3:10 left.

Duncan was able to answer, grabbing his own miss when he pulled the ball away from Bosh, getting fouled and sinking both free throws. Toronto got no closer than the final margin thereafter.

"I just think I got a little better grip on it," Duncan said of his rebound over Bosh. "I was able to pull it away and get fouled. It was a right place at the right time thing."

Tony Parker scored 19 points for the Spurs and Barry chipped in 16, connecting on all five of his 3-point attempts.

Fabricio Oberto added 12 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, which shot 50 percent (39-of-78) and held a 21-11 edge in assists.

"He's been doing the same stuff game after game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said about his Argentine center. "He sets great picks, rebounds his fanny off, makes great passes, he just knows how to play. It's more about getting him minutes."

Bosh had 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost eight of their nine meetings with the Spurs.

"Chris is going to be great in this league for a number of years after I'm gone," Duncan said. "He's incredibly talented and continues to get better every year."

T.J. Ford and Morris Peterson scored 15 points apiece for Toronto, but combined to shoot 40 percent (10-of-25).

"Friday we competed for 48 minutes and today we only competed for half the game," Peterson said. "They came out in the third and took over the game. They played well and they are not going to back down."

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