Ginobili's 31 points carry Spurs to 11th consecutive winMar 9, 2007 - 12:20 PM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili and the red-hot San Antonio Spurs continue to march forward.
Ginobili scored 31 points off the bench and Tim Duncan chipped in 16 and 13 rebounds as the Spurs pushed their winning streak to 11 games with a 100-93 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
The win helped San Antonio match its longest winning streak since finishing the 2003-04 campaign, which concluded with a trip to the NBA Finals against Detroit.
"We kind of turned that corner," Duncan said. "We've been a lot more consistent. It takes awhile to get everybody on the same page. We use the regular season to get into form to go into the playoffs. Maybe it just took us to turn that corner and understand what we have to do as a whole. I think we're starting to do that."
As one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year, Ginobili is averaging 19.5 points since being removed from the starting lineup 17 games ago.
"I don't know but lately it's easier for me to (come off) the bench," Ginobili said. "I start very aggressive and shots are falling so it makes everything easier. I'm very happy I'm being aggressive. I was feeling really comfortable and I just let it fly."
Mike Bibby drained a pull-up 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Kings an 86-85 advantage with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter.
However, All-Star Tony Parker scored on back-to-back driving layups to spark a 9-0 surge as the Spurs regained the lead for good at 94-86 with 1:06 remaining.
Parker finished with 15 points and five assists in 31 minutes despite still having soreness in from his ailing hip.
"I felt a little bit better and I was trying to get into a rhythm," Parker said. "It was kind of hard in the first half, and in the second half, slowly but surely it came back. I knew I had to be aggressive and make something happen."
"Down the stretch I thought (Parker) played pretty doggone good defense," Ginobili said. "Offensively he got a couple buckets for us and was aggressive. I think he got his rhythm back as the game went on."
Kevin Martin had 26 points and a career-high 12 rebounds and reserve Corliss Williamson added 21 for Sacramento, which had its four-game winning streak ended.
"Down the stretch we got a little careless with the ball," Kings swingman Francisco Garcia said
It was the first matchup for the Kings without forward Ron Artest in the rotation since he was excused from the club indefinitely after bring arrested for alleged domestic violence charges earlier this week.
"That's prime time for (Artest), in the end of the game stepping up and making big defensive stops," Williamson said. "Maybe Ron could have helped us, maybe not."
SAN ANTONIO 100
SACRAMENTO 93 FINAL
Mar 9 1:17 AM
SAN ANTONIO 65
SACRAMENTO 61 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 9 12:36 AM
SAN ANTONIO 48
SACRAMENTO 44 HALFTIME
Mar 8 11:49 PM
SAN ANTONIO 25
SACRAMENTO 19 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 8 11:15 PM
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