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Spurs drop hammer on Hawks

POSTED: March 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili fouls Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) during the first quarter Monday in San Antonio.

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SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan had 23 points and 10 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks 89-74 on Monday night for their sixth straight win despite scoring a franchise-low five points in the opening quarter.

Tony Parker added 15 points and nine assists and Manu Ginobili scored 13 for San Antonio, which shot just 6 percent (1-of-17) in the first quarter. The five points were a team record for any quarter, but the Spurs rebounded nicely from their shooting woes.

Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Hawks, who have dropped two in a row, and reserve Zaza Pachulia tied his season high with 14 points. Rookie Al Horford added 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The Spurs have lost just five games at home this year and their six straight wins are their most in a row this season.

The Hawks, whose stop in San Antonio was the last of a six-game road trip, are trying to make the postseason for the first time since 1999.

After a disastrous first half, the Spurs turned things around in the third quarter.

Parker exploded to the basket to lead a 21-4 run by San Antonio that gave the Spurs the lead for good. He had 13 points in the period to put the Spurs up 57-48 with one quarter to go.

The Spurs kept a comfortable lead in the fourth. Atlanta got within six points early, and a pair of free throws from Pachulia cut the deficit to seven with four minutes to play.

But the Spurs sealed it with an 8-0 run that included a 3 from the corner by Manu Ginobili to put them up 80-65 with 1:50 to play.

Josh Smith added 13 rebounds for the Hawks, and Ime Udoka scored 10 points for the Spurs.

Rookie Horford scored 12 in the first half to help Atlanta go up 37-30 at the break. The Hawks led by as many as 12 in the first half.

Notes: The Spurs’ previous low in points for a quarter was eight, which they most recently had on Christmas Day in 2005 at Detroit. ... New addition Kurt Thomas played his first minutes as a Spur on Monday. The veteran, obtained in a trade from Seattle, scored four points and grabbed nine rebounds in 13 minutes. ... The Spurs won the season series with Atlanta 2-0. ... The Hawks had 23 turnovers for 23 points.



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