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Duncan, Spurs top Kings to continue road success

Nov 20, 2006 - 4:50 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan showed the Sacramento Kings that he is comfortable in one of the NBA's most intimidating arenas.

Duncan scored 35 points and Tony Parker added 17 as the San Antonio Spurs posted a 108-99 victory over the Kings for their fifth straight road win.

Manu Ginobili collected 16 points and four rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 44 percent (38-of-86) and nailed eight shots from the arc.

Despite the good offensive play, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich thinks the defensive effort was the difference in the game.

"I think the defense got better as the game went along," Popovich said. "It was pretty soft in the first half. The big guys really played well together at both ends of the court. That's what got it done for us."

Playing with one of the league's best home-court advantages, Sacramento had won its first four contests at Arco Arena this season. However, the Kings were up against San Antonio, which is now 5-0 away from the At&t Center.

"I feel really good about (winning at home)," Duncan said. "I hate that we've lost two at home, but the road's very important and every win on the road is big for us. We've really got to concentrate (Monday at Portland) going into a back-to-back and try to get that one because that's kind of been our downside so far."

A two-time MVP, Duncan battled injuries last season and had the least productive campaign in his eight-year career to that point. On Sunday, he was 13-of-17 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the line with 14 rebounds.

"I got it going early and was able to sustain it throughout," Duncan said. "It was a good night."

Popovich thinks that center Fabricio Oberto has had a positive impact on Duncan.

"His body's great and he feels really good," Popovich said. "It's the best shape he's been in four or five years. Playing with (Oberto) has really energized him and Fab is such a smart player he enjoys playing with him. It's great to see those two play the way they do."

The Spurs led throughout and took their largest lead, 105-86, on Parker's 3-pointer with 2:46 remaining.

Ron Artest scored 22 points for Kings, who shot 47 percent (34-of-73).

Sacramento committed only 12 turnovers but did not play cohesively on offense, dishing out just 10 assists as a team.

"Oh wow, (10 assists) are pretty low," Artest said. "Twelve turnovers is good, it's not bad."

San Antonio guard Brent Barry collided with Ronnie Price with 24 seconds left in the first half. Both were injured but returned later in the game.

"I came to Arco Arena and a hockey game broke out in the second quarter," Barry said. "Immediately I knew something was wrong and I knew Ronnie was hurt, too. Anytime there's something that violent with that kind of speed. It's unfortunate that we both got hurt on the play but that's non-contact basketball."

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