Minus Popovich, Spurs defeat HornetsJan 20, 2007 - 5:12 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not around to see his team's latest defeat of the New Orleans Hornets.
Without their ejected coach for most of the contest, the Spurs built up a big lead and held on for a 99-86 triumph over the Hornets.
Tony Parker scored 23 points, Manu Ginobili added 19 and Tim Duncan chipped in 12 and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in the series.
Popovich was tossed after picking up two quick technicals with 6:21 left in the first quarter.
"I think he wanted a technical," Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo said. "He didn't mind the first technical, but he wasn't looking to go. This was an important game for us."
The Spurs, who had lost their previous two games, held just a 9-8 edge at the time but pushed their advantage to 26-12 by the end of the quarter and led by as many as 22 points in the second period.
New Orleans pulled within eight points midway through the fourth quarter but got no closer as it had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"We didn't play brilliant or that sharp," Ginobili said. "We made many mistakes during the game, but we made some progress. We shot the ball well and played good defense."
Hornets forward Desmond Mason and injured guard Chris Paul - who was sitting on the bench - were ejected with a minute to play. Mason had been called for a foul and slammed the ball in frustration, while Paul appeared to say something to the officials.
"We had some bad calls tonight, but that's just the way the game is sometimes," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I told the team to keep driving and play basketball. Basketball is a tough game and to be successful you have to be ready to play every night."
New Orleans forward David West contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds in his first action since November 12 due to a right elbow injury that required surgery.
"I felt really good tonight," West said. "My conditioning has always been OK, even after my elbow surgery. I knew if I practiced hard I would be good to go when I was in a game situation. I was a little winded after the first quarter, but after I got my rhythm, I was fine."
"I thought David looked terrific for his first game back after missing 30," Scott said. "He played very well. We definitely missed him."
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
NEW ORLEANS 12 24 24 26 86
SAN ANTONIO 26 27 23 23 99 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: NOR - DAVID WEST 19, BOBBY JACKSON 14, DEVIN
SAS - TONY PARKER 23, MANU GINOBILI 19,
MICHAEL FINLEY 14
Jan 19 10:22 PM
NEW ORLEANS 60
SAN ANTONIO 76 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 19 9:50 PM
NEW ORLEANS 36
SAN ANTONIO 53 HALFTIME
Jan 19 9:08 PM
NEW ORLEANS 12
SAN ANTONIO 26 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 19 8:39 PM
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