Ginobili, Spurs pull away from 76ers down the stretchDec 17, 2006 - 6:09 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili was all the San Antonio Spurs needed down the stretch.
Ginobili scored eight of his 17 points in the final four minutes and Tim Duncan collected 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Spurs sent the Philadelphia 76ers to their 11th straight loss, 103-98.
Tony Parker had 24 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who shot 48 percent (38-of-79) from the field and dished out 24 assists.
Ginobili said that no matter the opponent, a competitive fire allows the team to keep its focus.
"Once the game starts, you may not be as fired up because of the situation," Ginobili said. "When you get into the third quarter, and you're tied or two down, you try to step up. (The 76ers) have a lot of confidence and are fired up. They wanted to win (in San Antonio)."
"(Ginobili) has unbelievable will (to win)," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He does things you can't draw. He has extraordinary will to get it done."
In crunch time, Ginobili took over, scoring San Antonio's final eight points on a 3-pointer, three-point play and a pair of free throws. With the game tied with 2:47 remaining, he nailed the go-ahead shot from the arc to make it 98-95. The Spurs did not trail again.
"It just happened. I got the (three)," Ginobili said. "I wasn't wide open and I had no other options. I felt the game changed for me. The last five games I had my shot, but (Saturday) I didn't. I tried to be patient. I let the game come to me."
Duncan was 8-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line. Parker was 10-of-17 and 2-of-3 on 3-pointers.
Despite playing without superstar Allen Iverson and forward Chris Webber, the 76ers hung around in the fourth quarter. Iverson missed his sixth straight game after requesting a trade last week. Webber sat out with a sprained ankle.
"Give Philly a lot of credit. They're a rugged group," Popovich said. "They have a lot of pride and aggressiveness, especially on the back-to-back after playing Dallas tough (on Friday). I couldn't be more impressed with their approach to the game."
"We fought back and hung in there. I love the way we're playing with the grit and the scrappiness," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "It's unfortunate that we haven't been able to finish the game. But, as I told them, if we continue to play with the fierceness that we're playing at, we'll be fine."
Andre Iguodala scored 27 points for Philadelphia, which shot 49 percent (39-of-80).
SAN ANTONIO 103 FINAL
Dec 16 10:32 PM
SAN ANTONIO 85 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 16 9:56 PM
SAN ANTONIO 54 HALFTIME
Dec 16 9:11 PM
SAN ANTONIO 23 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 16 8:37 PM
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