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Ginobili helps Spurs win 11th in a row

Mar 7, 2008 - 4:53 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field as the San Antonio Spurs extended their season-high winning streak to 11 games by knocking off the Indiana Pacers, 108-97, on Thursday night.

Tony Parker chipped in with 19 points and Tim Duncan overcame an off night offensively by recording 12 rebounds.

The Spurs only led by two at halftime, but outscored the Pacers, 34-21, in the third quarter to take a commanding 84-69 lead.

"We talked about better ball movement to start the second half, and they were much better moving the ball, particularly in pick-and-roll situations," said Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, who took over after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter.

Indiana had a tough back-to-back challenge by playing against the two hottest teams in the league - Houston and San Antonio - with a combined 26-game winning streak.

"I don't point the finger at anybody," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "The Spurs are a heck of a basketball team, and that's why they are the defending champions. We played a tough game last night, and just didn't have what it takes to beat them."

Ginobili started the game off in fine fashion by scoring nine points in the first quarter.

"He's a terrific player," Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy said of Ginobili. "He does a really good job of getting in the paint and making things happen."

But the first half was still a tightly contested affair.

The Pacers gained a 48-44 advantage after David Harrison's jump hook, but the Spurs responded with six straight points to earn a 50-48 halftime lead.

San Antonio opened up the third quarter on a 9-2 run for a 59-50 lead. Then, Bruce Bowen scored six of his eight points on two straight 3-pointers late in the third to give the Spurs a 15-point advantage.

In the fourth quarter, Michael Finley hit a 3-pointer to give the Spurs a 21-point lead with 7:50 remaining that all but sealed the victory.

Popovich was ejected 5:39 into the second quarter for storming on the court while the ball was still in play. He had to be restrained as he received two quick technicals from official Mark Wunderlich.

Danny Granger scored 22 points for Indiana, which has lost five of its last seven games.

With the outcome no longer in doubt, the game got physical late with Troy Murphy committing a flagrant foul on Ime Udoka midway through the fourth quarter. With 25 seconds left in the game, Matt Bonner committed an offensive foul on Harrison, who was then given a technical for arguing.

"The coaches told us before the game it would be physical. It looked like the game was over, and it started to get a little rough," Ginobili said. "But everyone is competing, and I know that if I was 20 points down in a game, I'd compete to get it closer, too."

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