for this game

Jackson, Warriors rout Spurs without Duncan

Dec 12, 2007 - 7:07 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle, and the Golden State Warriors took advantage of his absence.

Stephen Jackson scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures as the Warriors routed the San Antonio Spurs, 96-84, on Tuesday night.

Baron Davis scored 18 points for Golden State, which picked up its 12th win in its last 15 games.

"Tim Duncan, he controls the boards, he controls the defense and he really sets the tone for them defensively and offensively," Davis said. "For us, it was a good win. We couldn't look at the fact that Duncan wasn't there, we had to stick to our game plan because that team still won three games in a row without him."

But it was a rare victory over San Antonio, which had a 33-5 record entering this contest against Golden State since the 1997-98 season - Duncan's rookie campaign.

"We'd rather have him than not have him," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Plays seem to work better, but that inside presence for us is important against the Warriors. We really need that against them because, athletically, they're more athletic than we are - longer, leaner, quicker, faster - as a small team so Timmy really's our X-factor in a game like this with Golden State."

"We knew our chances to win the game went higher when we found out he wasn't playing," Jackson said. "We had the same confidence we had to win the game even if he's playing. But without him out there, that's one more guy we don't have to worry about and we took advantage of that tonight."

The Spurs could not secure this victory despite a stellar night by reserve center Matt Bonner, who notched career highs with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

His 3-pointer with 6:39 remaining in the game made it a nine-point deficit for the Spurs. But the defending champions could not get over the hump down the stretch.

"I think the important thing is we got down pretty big in the second quarter," Bonner said. "We didn't give up, we kept fighting, battled back and got it down to single digits and had a chance to make a run at the end to make a game of it, and they came up with some big shots to put it out of reach."

Golden State led by 22 points late in the third quarter but were just 2-of-10 from the field over the first 6:31 of the fourth quarter. The Warriors recovered by going on a 13-4 run to seal the win.

"You've got to give them the credit they were really physical and very aggressive and they got it done in the second quarter," Popovich said. "We got it done in the second half, but the hole was too deep."

The highlight for the Warriors was a no-look, over-the-head pass from Jackson to Andris Biedrins for a reverse layup midway through the third quarter.

But they didn't start off well.

Golden State settled for perimeter shots and was 0-of-3 from the arc, shooting 30 percent from the field midway through the first quarter while the Spurs built up an eight-point lead.

The Warriors finally had some momentum when coach Don Nelson substituted Biedrins for Al Harrington and trailed, 25-23, after the first 12 minutes.

"I coached this game on matchups and certain ones I wanted," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "It wasn't always pretty but it was in the right column. I thought defensively we competed and won a game in which we didn't shoot very well, so that's always a good thing."

Golden State finally took its first lead of the game with 9:35 to play in the second quarter on a fast-break layup by Biedrins and led by thirteen after going on a 20-2 run that started at the end of the first quarter.

With 2:57 remaining in the first half, the Warriors increased their lead to 18 points on a 3-pointer by Jackson.

Golden State limited San Antonio to 12 points in the second quarter. That matched the lowest point total of any quarter this season for the Spurs, who made just 4-of-17 shots as the Warriors led 53-37 at halftime.

Tony Parker scored just 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting and Manu Ginobili added 13 on 4-of-14 for San Antonio, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.

"You never want to lose," Ginobili said. "You always want to win 82 games. Tonight we just were not ready, starting with me. That is the frustrating part. My job is to bring solutions from the bench and today I brought problems."

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