Duncan, Spurs roll over Nets in defensive battleMar 5, 2008 - 5:18 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan led all players with 29 points and 12 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 81-70 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.
Neither team shot over 40 percent from the field, but it was the tenth straight win for the Spurs (42-17), who kept their slim lead over the Los Angeles Lakers (42-18) atop the Western Conference. The Lakers played at Sacramento later Tuesday night.
"It was not a very memorable performance by any stretch at either end of the court," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If Tim Duncan didn't play the way he played tonight, a whole lot of people would have wasted a whole lot of money tonight. He was special, and he got it done for us."
Duncan understood Popovich's disappointment but pointed out that, during this stretch, every win is crucial.
"Every win's a good win. We did well enough to just win the game, disappointed or not, we did win the game," Duncan said. "You just have to try to keep winning games. As close as it is (the conference race), one game can make a difference. We're going to do our part, and keep winning as much as we can."
San Antonio also swept the home-and-home series against New Jersey after notching a 93-83 victory at IZOD Center on Sunday night.
Vince Carter scored 19 points for the Nets, who had an early 24-17 edge heading into the second quarter, but the lead was short-lived.
With 4:01 left in second quarter, the Spurs regained control, 35-33, after Jacque Vaughn stole the dribble from newly acquired Nets point guard Devin Harris, raced downcourt and dumped the ball off for an easy slam by Duncan.
"They make runs at the right time, get second and third looks and force turnovers," Harris said. "Defensively, they are always tough and, if their offense isn't going, they just find ways to win by getting to the free-throw line and with second-chance points."
Then as part of a 7-0 run to end the first half, Michael Finley hit a 3-pointer and Manu Ginobili knocked down a pair of free throws which gave the Spurs a 44-37 halftime lead.
Another dunk from Duncan with 7:16 left in the third gave San Antonio a 15-point advantage and it coasted from there.
"Duncan was a monster tonight, but we really just couldn't put the ball in the hole, and that really hurt us," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.
Ginobili added 12 points for the Spurs, who now have won 11 straight against the Nets.
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