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Ginobili hits for 27 points in first game back to lead team over Hawks
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Hawks vs. Suns

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Miami

TV, radio: Fox Sports Net Southeast (Charter channel 35); 790-AM

Web site:

SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili scored 27 points in a return to his sixth-man role to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks 95-89 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Ginobili, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year last season, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. He started for the Spurs in the last four games.

Tim Duncan, playing in his 1,000th NBA game in the regular season and playoffs, added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 29 points.

Ginobili hit two free throws with 3:27 remaining after Mike Bibby and Al Horford were called for technical fouls for arguing Horford’s foul call when the Hawks had cut the Spurs’ lead to three points.

Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with 1:53 to go. Then, after the Hawks cut it to two on Joe Johnson’s short jumper with 54 seconds left, Ginobili cut through the lane for a wide-open layup that gave the Spurs an 89-85 with 32 second remaining.

Ginobili made four free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.

Matt Bonner had 13 rebounds and the Spurs outrebounded Atlanta 52-27.

San Antonio has won seven of the last nine at home.

The Hawks stumbled through their trip in Texas 0-3. Atlanta has lost eight of the last nine on the road.

The Spurs didn’t look like the tired team to start the game, even though they played double-overtime to beat the Mavericks on Tuesday night in Dallas and had to wait more than an hour to get their plane de-iced. They didn’t make it into San Antonio until past 2 a.m.

But the Spurs jumped out to a 20-8 lead over an Atlanta team that lost in regulation on Tuesday night in Houston. San Antonio had the 12-point advantage on Ginobili’s 3-pointer 8:17 into the game, and the Spurs went up by 14 points with 1:12 left in the quarter.

San Antonio had a 20-8 rebounding advantage in the first quarter. Bonner, starting his fifth straight game, had four offensive rebounds and led the Spurs to a 9-2 start in second-chance points.

Bonner had seven rebounds in the first quarter, and Duncan was 4-of-5 for eight points in as many minutes.

The Spurs still led by 14 with 7 minutes left in the first half on another Ginobili 3-point shot.

Ginobili scored 11 points in 11 first-half minutes and was 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. But the Hawks scored the next seven to cut the lead in half and got as close as five after Johnson’s bank shot made it 38-33 with 1:32 before halftime.Notes: Roger Mason got his first start since Nov. 29. ... After starting the season 4-0 on the road, the Hawks are 5-8 away from home. ... The Spurs have won 11 straight home games against the Hawks, not losing since a February 1997 game at the Alamodome.

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