for this game

Ginobili, Spurs roll as Heat remain winless

Nov 8, 2007 - 4:57 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Miami Heat entered Wednesday's contest in search of their first win of the season. But they didn't find it at the AT&T Center.

Manu Ginobili scored 25 points off the bench and Tony Parker added 23 and eight assists as the San Antonio Spurs posted a 88-78 victory over the Heat.

Looking like the early favorite for Sixth Man of the Year honors, Ginobili provided a jolt in the third quarter as the Spurs took control.

The Argentina native, who has been in a reserve role so far this season, started the second half in place of Michael Finley, contributed heavily in the period to help San Antonio use an 18-5 surge to forge a 61-48 edge with 4:37 remaining.

Ginobili took advantage of his summer vacation after being told by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to rest. So far, he's feeling the difference.

"I don't know how I am going to feel by the All-Star Break, but at this point, it's the best I've felt since I've been here," said Ginobili, who had seven rebounds and seven assists.

"He's playing very well," Parker said. "This summer off obviously helped him a lot. Looks like he's got a lot more energy. He's playing very aggressive, shooting the ball very well. That's going to help us."

Ginobili knocked down three 3-pointers en route to a 12-point performance in the quarter.

"Manu is playing on a different level than anybody else," Popovich said. "I don't know if anybody in the league is playing better than he is right now."

Ricky Davis' jumper to start the fourth cut Miami's deficit to 65-60. But the Spurs pulled away for good behind an impressive 12-0 burst, capped by Parker's layup at the 6:33 mark.

Francisco Elson collected 12 points and 14 rebounds and Tim Duncan scored 12 for the defending champions, who shot 47 percent (34-of-71) from the floor.

Shaquille O'Neal poured in 17 points and Davis added 14 as the Miami fell to a disappointing 0-4 on the campaign. It was Miami's lowest point total of the season.

"Whenever we have a game like this, we just have to go back to the lab, work hard and stay positive," O'Neal said. "We just have to get it right, including myself."

The Heat's lackluster start might be adding unwanted pressure on superstar guard Dwyane Wade, who has yet to play this campaign following offseason surgery on his knee and shoulder. He has been cleared to play by doctors when he is ready.

"Hopefully things get better when Wade comes back," O'Neal said. "He's a great player and he's going to make everyone else better. We need everyone else to step up their game and play harder."