San Antonio Spurs

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks November 15

The San Antonio Spurs never got rattled, even when they fell behind by 13 points after the first quarter.

Tim Duncan had 23 points and seven rebounds to lead San Antonio to a 103-79 victory over the winless Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

"The team kept their composure well when we were down," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They didn't try to come back quickly 1-on-1. They did it as a team."

Duncan bounced back from a sluggish performance in a loss to Washington on Saturday, when he shot 3-for-18 from the field and scored only 11 points.

Manu Ginobili had 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting for the Spurs, who have beaten the Hawks eight straight times at home and 11 of 12 overall. Tony Parker finished with 18 points.

"The first quarter was really bad for us tonight," Ginobili said. "We played better and more aggressively as the game went on."

Al Harrington led the Hawks with a season-high 23 points and nine rebounds. He scored Atlanta's first 14 points and shot 10-for-15 in the first quarter to help the Hawks build a 31-18 lead. The Spurs struggled to find the basket and turned the ball over five times in the first.

Harrington struggled in the second and San Antonio rallied to tie the score 52-all at halftime. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili combined to score 30 points, and Harrington missed both of his shots in the quarter.

"I heard Pop say he was tired of that guy getting off, and it was really tough to get anything 1-on-1 after that," Harrington said. "They made some good adjustments and really took me out of my game."

Parker and Bruce Bowen combined to limit Atlanta guard Joe Johnson to 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, far below his 19.5 average.

"That's why they're the champs," Johnson said. "They fought hard. Pop made some adjustments that really slowed us down, and we never got back in rhythm."

The Hawks, who lost to Memphis on a last-second putback Saturday, dropped their seventh straight. Yet coach Mike Woodson believes the team's first victory is close at hand.

"Sometimes it's like we are our own worst enemy," he said. "We have stretches where we don't shoot. We don't defend," he said. "When San Antonio turned up their defense, we needed to turn up ours. If we play the way I know we can play for 48 minutes, then we can compete."

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