Since acquiring Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw, the San Antonio Spurs keep cruising behind what Tim Duncan says is a deeper team than any team during his four championship seasons.
On Saturday night against George Hill and the Indiana Pacers, Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds as the Spurs extended their winning streak to seven, beating the Pacers 112-103 for their 10th win in the last 11 games.
Duncan, who turns 36 this month, has looked spry since the night off against Philadelphia, the Spurs All Star forward is averaging 22.3 points and 10 rebounds in his last three games.
"I thought we finished the game very well," said Duncan, who helped the Spurs thwart a late Indiana run. "We did good with moving the ball and defensively we made the stops."
Paul George and Danny Granger each scored 18 for Indiana. The Pacers have lost two of three while trying to break out of the log-jammed East playoff picture and secure some home-court edge.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili added 18 points apiece, Gary Neal scored 11 points and Tiago Splitter added 10 points and seven rebounds as the Spurs showed off their depth. Their bench outscored Indiana's 52-29.
"The more practice we get, the more we play together, I think we're realizing how deep this team is," said Jackson, who scored eight points.
David West and Roy Hibbert scored 15 points apiece for the Pacers.
Tyler Hansbrough added 12 points and Hill finished with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists off the bench in his first game against his former team.
Indiana cut a 22-point deficit to get within seven points with 5 minutes left, but the Spurs answered with a 7-2 run in the span of about 1½ minutes to put the game safely out of reach.
Hibbert, who worked out with Duncan in San Antonio during the lockout, said he has grown close to the perennial All-Star. On Friday, he texted Duncan and asked how he should guard him.
"He said, 'Go for every pump fake,' " Hibbert said.
Jackson is averaging around 10 points off the bench since coming back to San Antonio in a trade-deadline deal with Golden State. Jackson proved essential to the Spurs during their title run in 2003, and they hope his return recaptures some of that magic while gunning for a fifth title in the Duncan era.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who doubles as team president, also bolstered his frontcourt this month by signing Diaw and added point guard Patty Mills. Seldom have the Spurs been so active on the NBA market in the middle of a season.
Popovich is counting on his new depth in the final month. The Spurs finish the season with 16 games in 23 days, including six back-to-backs. Popovich said he still isn't comfortable playing Ginobili on consecutive nights, since his play-making guard has already missed more than half the season banged up.
Diaw didn't play for the first time since signing with the Spurs on March 23.
San Antonio will return to action on Tuesday night, when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.