Duncan helps Spurs continue its best start in franchise historyNov 26, 2007 - 5:50 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs continued its best start in franchise history at the expense of one of its former assistant coaches.
Tim Duncan scored 26 points and Tony Parker added 22 and seven assists as the Spurs held off the Seattle SuperSonics, 116-101, on Sunday.
With the game tied at the break, San Antonio scored the first 12 points of the third quarter and never trailed during the second half.
"I thought that was the game right there - the first five minutes of the third quarter when we came out and played some 'D,'" San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "That's what we needed to do as an experienced club. I would expect our team to be able to do that."
The Sonics closed the deficit to as little as four points at 101-97 with 5:11 left on a jump shot by Nick Collison, but Parker scored six straight points to boost the lead back up to 10 with under three minutes to play.
Manu Ginobili netted 22 points off the bench for the Spurs, who have won five games in a row and are 12-2 for the first time in their 34-year history.
"It's not so much about winning every game but trying to make steps forward," Ginobili said. "Everybody knows we are going to make the playoffs so the key is to arrive in April in as good of shape as possible."
The Sonics dropped to 2-12 on the season under first-year coach P.J. Carlesimo - an assistant for the Spurs during the previous five seasons. It is also the worst start for Seattle since the 1967-68 season when the club began 2-14.
"It's a loss," Carlesimo responded when asked about coaching against his former team. "Our guys played very well. That's the best team in the league. I think it's the best team in the world.
"We played decently but we just made too many mistakes."
Wally Szczerbiak scored 27 points to lead the Seattle, which is winless at Key Arena this season and has lost six straight at home for the first time since 1985.
Rookie Kevin Durant enjoyed one of his best games of the season for the Sonics, making his first seven shots en route to scoring 25 for the game on 11-of-17 shooting.
"I'm just trying to let the game come to me and be aggressive," Durant said. "I've got to get better and better each game, I think in time, I will be OK."
Seattle scored the game's first eight points before San Antonio rallied back to take a 32-30 lead after the first.
The Spurs led by as many as eight in the second quarter, but the Sonics came back behind Szczerbiak's 20 second-quarter points, tying the game at 64-64 at the break.
"In the second half, we did a good job of getting the ball to 3-point shooters and in the first half we did not," Carlesimo said. "There were too many mental mistakes to beat this good of a team."
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