Duncan, Spurs use impressive run to rout NetsFeb 14, 2007 - 5:08 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich can't complain about his team's latest performance.
With Popovich challenging his team to play better, Tim Duncan responded with 21 points and eight rebounds and Tony Parker added 19 points as the Spurs continued their dominance of the New Jersey Nets with a 107-82 victory.
Taking advantage of the absence of Nets star guard Jason Kidd (back), San Antonio used a 20-0 run to start the second quarter en route to its eighth straight win against New Jersey. The Spurs' last loss to the Nets was a 91-82 defeat on November 13, 2002.
"The Nets are in a bad way right now injury-wise, so it was just a tough night when three of their top four players aren't even out there," Popovich said. "It was pretty much a throwaway game. I thought they battled and did everything they could.
"It's tough for them and impossible for them to be very successful with that many people out, and Kidd is the head of the steak on top of the whole deal. It's a ridiculous situation to be in."
Entering the contest 2-4 on their current eight-game road trip, Popovich recently called his team soft and questioned their physical and mental toughness - two of the main qualities in San Antonio's recent championship squads.
"It was great motivation. Obviously, when your coach says that, he just wants to see the reaction from his team," Parker said. "I thought tonight we came out and were very focused and from the get-go we played pretty well. We finally kept our lead."
The Spurs came out like they had something to prove. Leading by four points after one period, San Antonio scored the first 20 points of the second quarter, capped by Manu Ginobili's two free throws to make it 46-22 with 5:42 left. Duncan scored seven points during the run.
"It's great to play like that, but honestly, we're pushing hard right now and we're trying to get better as a team," Duncan said. "The consistency hasn't been there and we're trying to develop that and trying to get the guys to play the same way every night."
Duncan shot 7-of-9 from the field and Parker was 6-of-12 for San Antonio, which shot 53 percent (39-of-73) and outrebounded New Jersey, 41-34.
"It's a big game for us, every game is a big game for us, especially with the way we were up and down," Duncan said. "We're going to approach (our next game) the same way we approached today, with a lot of energy and that we need to get this thing."
Struggling to find their rhythm without Kidd orchestrating the offense, the Nets missed their first 13 shots of the second period. New Jersey scored its first point of the quarter on Vince Carter's technical free throw with 5:29 remaining.
"We have been shorthanded for the better part of the year," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We're not going to start making excuses now. Anybody can have a great attitude when things are going well, but when things are tough, that's the challenge of coaching. Truly, adversity is what you really thrive on."
Rookie guard Marcus Williams started his first game in place of Kidd and had nine points and a season-high 10 assists and Eddie House added 16 points off the bench for the Nets, who shot just 39 percent (32-of-82).
"Every time we've been counted out, we've bounced back," Frank said. "The makeup of our team, because it's different, sometimes it's hard to be consistent."
SAN ANTONIO 107
NEW JERSEY 82 FINAL
Feb 13 9:49 PM
SAN ANTONIO 79
NEW JERSEY 60 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 13 9:21 PM
SAN ANTONIO 59
NEW JERSEY 38 HALFTIME
Feb 13 8:35 PM
SAN ANTONIO 26
NEW JERSEY 22 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 13 8:03 PM
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