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Duncan, Spurs hold off Grizzlies

Dec 21, 2006 - 6:23 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs are unbeatable when they reach the century mark at home.

Duncan scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Michael Finley added a season-high 20 points off the bench as the Spurs posted a 105-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was the fifth straight victory for San Antonio, which improved to 9-0 when scoring at least 100 points at home this season.

Tony Parker had 18 points and 10 assists and Bruce Bowen scored all 13 of his points in the second half for San Antonio, which has won six consecutive home games.

The Spurs led, 62-46, at halftime and still enjoyed a six-point cushion at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Grizzlies went on a 16-8 run, capped by Pau Gasol's layup with 5:18 remaining to make it 92-90.

"It was a tough game," Parker said. "Memphis is a very good team. They made a big run and Mike Miller was knocking down shots."

However, Finley made a 3-pointer just 20 seconds later to give San Antonio the lead for good at 93-92.

"Finley was great," Duncan said. "He's working hard, and he's stepping up. To see him shoot like that and see him get back in a rhythm is huge for us and it's huge for him."

Finley made 5-of-6 shots from the arc for the Spurs, who shot 55 percent (37-of-67) from the field and made twelve 3-pointers.

"I'm just remaining confident as a shooter and continuing to shoot the shots when they're there," Finley said.

"He's shooting the ball very well," Parker said. "He hit big shot after big shot. That's huge for us, especially when they are double-teaming Duncan like that."

Duncan was 8-for-8 from the field, and added three steals and three blocks to his tally.

"Tim was 8-of-8 from the floor, so there's not a lot of margin for error when you're playing against him," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said.

Mike Miller, who was held to two points in the first half by Bowen, scored 13 in the third quarter for Memphis, which cut a 16-point halftime deficit down to 82-76 entering the fourth period.

"Miller's a great competitor, Bowen said. "He goes out and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He doesn't talk to the officials. It's a pleasure to play against guys that are just doing the best that they can because they have such great talent."

Miller scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost four straight road games and 15 of their last 18 at San Antonio.

"You have to pick your spots to be agressive," Miller said. "I wasn't nearly aggressive enough in the first half, and I got it going a little bit in the second half."

"We recovered from a bad third quarter, which for a large part was fueled by their great shooting," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They caught fire. We found a way to win. We did a good job when it mattered."

Gasol had 16 points while Hakim Warrick and Chucky Atkins each added 11 for Memphis, which shot 52 percent (39-of-75) but still lost for the seventh time in its last eight games.

Gasol's point total came in a season-high 24 minutes of action, and it is the most points he has scored in four games since missing the first 22 contests with a broken foot suffered during the 2006 World Championships.

"I wanted to try and help the team," Gasol said. "It's hard enough down the stretch on the road, especially against San Antonio. You've got to execute and have someone to rely on. I wanted to be there in case my team needed me. Down the stretch, if the game is on the line, I'm going to do my best to be in."

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