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Ginobili's fourth-quarter outburst paces Spurs

Nov 21, 2006 - 5:29 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- After resting dormant for three quarters, Manu Ginobili erupted when it mattered.

Ginobili scored 18 of 25 points in the final quarter as the San Antonio Spurs rallied for a 107-98 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was the eighth win in the last nine games for the Spurs, who trailed, 56-48, at halftime.

But Tim Duncan scored 13 points in the third quarter to set the stage for Ginobili, who made all six of his shots in the final session, including three 3-pointers.

"I think tonight was the best night with my shot," Ginobili said. "I've had some pretty good games without my shot, but tonight was a little more complete. I had some good steals, played better defense than in some games, so tonight was a good night."

Constantly driving to the basket and drawing contact, Ginobili accounted for all 18 of his fourth-quarter points over a span of 6 1/2 minutes in which San Antonio extended its cushion from three to 12 points.

"I was feeling like I needed one game like this," he said. "I don't know if it's going to be like this turnaround for the whole season, but I just needed to feel like I could do this again. ... This is good for my confidence."

The Spurs owned a one-point advantage with 4:24 left when Ginobili converted a three-point play and found Brent Barry for a layup on the following possession to push the lead to 98-92.

"(Ginobili) is a very confident player and he always is able to get opportunities to do stuff like that," Duncan said. "To see him like that tonight was great and just will help our whole team in the future."

Ginobili poured in six more points over the next 90 seconds to extend San Antonio's advantage to 104-92 with 2:27 remaining.

"I had a couple of shots go down and then I felt like being more aggressive in the fourth quarter," he said. "I had a couple of drives. I was a little more determined to do it. I didn't know it was going to be like that."

Duncan finished with 25 points while Tony Parker added 14 for San Antonio, which is off to a franchise-best 6-0 record on the road.

"We have a better mentality on the road than we do at home right now," Ginobili said. "We grind games out for all 48 minutes. At home, if we don't get a lead quick, we get upset and start to press."

"We're glad we're playing (Portland) when they're young," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added. "We are a good defensive team. We have been for a long time. We've been together for a while now, and that's what we do to win ballgames."

Zach Randolph scored 23 points while Juan Dixon chipped in 17 off the bench for Portland, which shot 50 percent (38-of-76) and held a 35-25 edge on the glass but committed 18 turnovers.

"That's a championship team over there, something we are trying to get to," Randolph said. "It seemed like we got it going good and then they made nice adjustments."

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