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Duncan and Spurs continue home dominance over Warriors

Apr 8, 2007 - 6:10 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Fighting for their playoff lives, Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs were the last team the Golden State Warriors wanted to see.

Duncan scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to go with four blocks, as the Spurs posted a 112-99 victory over the Warriors.

Manu Ginobili added 25 points off the bench for San Antonio, which won its 19th straight home game against Golden State, dating to Duncan's rookie year of 1997.

Duncan did most of his work inside and did not have shot from farther than 15 feet out until late in the game, as the Spurs scored 46 points in the paint.

"He (Duncan) was a horse all night," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He gets beat up down there in the paint, but that's the way it is. The big guys get beat up more than the little guys because of the rules. ... He was our quarterback out there. Tim was great inside and Tony (Parker) was great outside."

In a game with six ties and seven lead changes, the Warriors pulled within 96-91 with 4:35 left, but Duncan responded with a three-point play and a putback that started a 16-3 game-ending run.

"Just a good win," Duncan said. "They made runs and we sustained. They are going to put a lot of points on the board and we know that, but all in all I thought we played for the most part the 48 minutes the way we wanted to."

With the win, the Spurs moved within two games of the Phoenix Suns for the Western Conference's second seed.

Jason Richardson, who was held scoreless in the last meeting between the teams, scored 22 for the Warriors (37-40), which fell 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers (37-37) for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

"We had a nice flow to our offense, but they're a very good basketball team and very well coached," said Richardson, who left with a twisted ankle in the fourth.

"We liked the pace of the game, but you just can't give a team like that such easy buckets. ... We just need to make smarter decisions down the stretch against a championship team like the Spurs.

Baron Davis left no question as to who was the deciding factor.

"Tim Duncan. He's the best player in this league hands down," Baron Davis said. "He does so much and it goes unnoticed. He fills up the stat sheet with his 28 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, but it's all the little stuff that he does and what he doesn't allow to happen. We battled but came up short. We ran out of gas tonight."

Al Harrington scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half for the Warriors, who were blown out by 37 points in a 126-89 Spurs win on March 26.

Warrior coach Don Nelson was pleased with the better effort this time around.

"I was glad we were able to stay in the game and have a chance to win," Nelson said. "We needed to do a better job down the stretch. It's what I was hoping for, to stay in the game the last five minutes and have a chance to win."

All five Warriors' starters scored in double figures, but the Spurs bench held a 46-10 advantage.

Golden State guard Baron Davis left the game late in the fourth with an apparent hip injury.

"Baron couldn't stay in the game even though he wanted to," Nelson said. "He has a hip pointer. I never have had a hip pointer so I couldn't tell you what their like. Jason just has a slightly twisted ankle."

The Warriors have seven games left to try end the league's longest playoff drought, which stands at 14 years.

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