Hot shooting Spurs burn Hornets, gets 10th win in a row
The San Antonio Spurs went to work early, building a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, then used a 38-point second quarter, that blew the game wide open. The Spurs extended their advantage to 27 points, 72-45 at the break against a short-handed New Orleans team, who suffered their 41st loss of the season.
San Antonio shot a scorching 66.7 percent (30-of-45) from the field during the first half, and finished the game hitting 60.7 percent (51-of-84) of their shots, while holding the Hornets to 46.8 percent (36-of-77) from the floor.
The Spurs outrebounded the Hornets 40-29, and had 31 assists, compared to just 11 from New Orleans.
Tim Duncan scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds, had two assists, two steals and two block shots in just 20 minutes of action to lead San Antonio to an easy 128-103 victory over the Hornets on Friday night.
The win, gave the Spurs their 10th straight win and moved them on top of the Western Conference standings. The bench gave the Spurs a huge lift scoring 82 points for the night.
Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills scored 14 points each, Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal added 13 points apiece, Tiago Splitter added 10, and DeJuan Blair finished with nine points and three rebounds to help the Spurs sweep the four-game season series against New Orleans.
Eric Gordon, who played only his second game in three months, scored 31 points to lead the Hornets, Greivis Vasquez added 12 points, while Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry chipped in 15 and 13 points respectively off the New Orleans' bench.
The win, coupled with Oklahoma City's loss to the Indiana Pacers, moved the Spurs percentage points ahead of the Thunder for first place in the West.
A loss by the Phoenix Suns or the Houston Rockets later tonight would clinch San Antonio's 15th consecutive playoff berth.
The Spurs will return to action on Sunday night, when they host the Utah Jazz on back-to-back nights.