Ginobili leads Spurs past AtlantaFeb 22, 2007 - 4:38 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili put on a show against the Atlanta Hawks.
Ginobili scored a San Antonio Spurs' season-high 40 points and Tim Duncan chipped in 30 and nine rebounds en route to a 103-96 victory over the Hawks.
Ginobili scored 24 points in a row for the Spurs from the 2:27 mark in the first quarter to the 9:40 mark in the second. San Antonio began the second quarter with a 16-2 run as Ginobili scored all the points in just 2:20.
It was the most points scored by one player this season against the Hawks.
"He was pretty special tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said about Ginobili. "He's just a heck of a hard cover for any defense because he does everything a little bit different than most players. ... Tonight he was really on and he got us over the hump."
Jacque Vaughn's jumper gave the Spurs a 60-46 edge with 8:14 left in the third before Zaza Pachulia brought back the Hawks, scoring 15 points over the final eight minutes to tie the game, 70-70, at the end of the third period.
"That was probably his best game of the season," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said of Pachulia. "I thought he really competed. ... He had a huge second half for us."
Ginobili then took over again, going on his own 7-2 run over the first 2 1/2 minutes of the fourth to give the Spurs the lead for good.
"I had some good stretches tonight," Ginobili said. "Some of those stretches were the best of my career. After I hit those first four field goals I started feeling good and Popovich started running every single play for me, and all of them worked."
Brent Barry was the only other San Antonio player in double figures, finishing with 18 points, including a 28-foot 3-pointer at the 2:17 mark that stretched the lead to 94-86.
The Spurs made the most of their opportunities from the free-throw line, shooting 90 percent (29-of-32), while the Hawks managed just 60 percent (21-of-35) from the charity strip.
"We missed a lot of free throws throughout the course of the game," Atlanta guard Speedy Claxton said. "I guess you could look at it as it cost us the game."
Joe Johnson came back from a 2-of-12 shooting effort against Chicago on Tuesday to score 30 points for the Hawks and Pachulia ended with 23.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Spurs, who have won 14 of their last 17 against the Hawks.
"Especially when you're a young team like we are," Atlanta forward Marvin Williams said, "you look at those guys who are making a push to the Finals every single year. You look at those guys, and you finally get to be a team like that when you play hard every night."
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