Defense propels Spurs to fourth straight victory
This article is cross posted at Spurs World.
With Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter not playing, DeJuan Blair continued his strong play scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds in 31 minutes while Tony Parker scored 21 points and dished out seven assists and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-76 on Sunday night in a matchup of short-handed teams.
The Spurs won for the seventh time in eight games and swept the season series with the 76ers despite being without Duncan. With the Spurs playing three games in three nights, coach Gregg Popovich gave the 35-year-old Duncan his second day off this season.
Philadelphia lost for the second time in their last four games as they played without Andre Iguodala, who was out due to left patella tendinitis.
Manu Ginobili added 11 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals of the bench, Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs won their third game in three nights while missing one of their three stars in each game.
Parker sat out with a hamstring injury Friday at home against the Mavericks and Ginobili missed the win at New Orleans on Saturday with a hip injury.
Elton Brand led the 76ers with 12 points. Jodie Meeks, starting for Iguodala, added 11 points. Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday each added 10.
Philadelphia trailed by three points at halftime, but San Antonio’s defense helped force 14 second-half turnovers.
Matt Bonner started for Duncan and helped San Antonio get off to a strong start with eight points in the first quarter, including two 3-pointers. He finished with 10 points, Danny Green also had 10 points to help the Spurs improve to 20-4 at home.
San Antonio led 52-49 at halftime behind Parker’s 11 points and four assists. Blair had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Holliday led the 76ers with 10 points in the first half.
After the Spurs had taken a 29-22 lead into the second quarter, the 76ers went on a 12-0 run to go in front. But San Antonio responded with a 10-0 run of their own.
Gary Neal (left mid-foot sprain) and Tiago Splitter (mid-back spasms) didn’t play. It was the second straight game that Neal has missed and third for Splitter.
San Antonio will return to action on Tuesday night when they visit the Phoenix Suns.