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article imageNBA: Spurs rout Bobcats, give Duncan night off

By Lynn Herrmann     Mar 20, 2011 in Sports
San Antonio - Hosting the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night, the San Antonio Spurs took control of the game early, turning it into a rout by halftime and allowed Spurs bench players to make a major contribution in a 109-98 win.
Giving team captain Tim Duncan his first game off during the season after the huge win over Dallas the night before, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich used his bench players extensively throughout the game. The result was that starting and regular rotation players received some much-needed rest as the team readies itself for the final 13 games of the season and a post-season they hope extends into June.
The Spurs’ official listing for Duncan not playing was “trop vieux,” French for “too old” and he enjoyed the game in street clothes a row behind the Spurs bench. Tony Parker was the lone Spurs starter to play more than 30 minutes, nearly completing a double double in 31:41 minutes of action. He scored 9 points and dished out 9 assists.
As a result of Duncan’s inactivity, the Spurs gave Tiago Splitter his first NBA career start and he responded, givng Spurs fans a showing of what life-after-Duncan could be like. Playing 23:52, he grabbed 6 rebounds and added a steal and blocked shot to his 8 point effort.
With two games under their belts since the blowout loss to Miami last Monday, the Spurs have momentarily righted their listing ship that had seen poor performances in recent weeks. “Tony and Manu started us off very serious, and I think everyone followed suit,” Popovich said after the game, according to MySA.
After being up by 26 earlier in the game, thanks to solid ball movement, the Spurs allowed the Bobcats to get within 11 in the fourth quarter, 97-86, before polishing off the win.
The Spurs were on fire from beyond the arc, tying the franchise record of 17 3-pointers. They improved their league-best record to 56-13, including a 32-3 home record.
Each team had five players scoring in double figures.
San Antonio was led by Steve Novak with 19 points, including 5-of-8 on 3-point shooting. Gary Neal scored 15, followed by George Hill with 12. Manu Ginobili played just 18:33 and his line was 11 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Matt Bonner rounded out double figures for the Spurs, scoring 10 points.
The Spurs’ bench was a huge factor in the game, contributing 56 points in the winning effort. One of the few parts to the Spurs effort was in free throws, where they shot 58 percent, hitting just 14-of-24 from the line.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 19 points, followed by Boris Diaw with 16. D.J. White added 13 points while Shaun Livingston and Tyrus Thomas each added 10.
More about San antonio spurs, Charlotte bobcats, home record, Tim duncan, bench players
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