NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Gary Neal scored 18 points, and Tim Duncan recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs won their seventh in the row with a 103-89 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Tony Parker added 12 points, DeJuan Blair finished 11, while Daniel Green and Thiago Splitter each had 10 for the Spurs.
San Antonio was bolstered by the return of sixth man Manu Ginobili. The Argentinean guard had not played in 22 games after suffering a fractured metacarpal in the Spurs’ 106-96 loss in Minnesota on Jan. 2. Ginobili, who spelled Green, scored eight points and had four assists in 17 minutes.
Deron Williams scored 27 points to lead the Nets, who have lost six in a row. Kris Humphries added 15, while Jordan Farmar had 12 and Anthony Morrow 11 as New Jersey fell to 3-10 at home.
The Spurs took control in the second quarter by making 14 of 19 shots to outscore the Nets 31-18 and take a 55-40 lead at halftime. San Antonio’s torrid shooting was coupled by strong defense. New Jersey missed 19 of its 27 shots in the quarter, including all six 3-point attempts.
New Jersey cut into San Antonio’s lead midway in the third quarter. Williams’ 3-pointer cut the deficit to 62-56, but the Nets would get no closer.
San Antonio went on a 15-3 run to end the quarter that pushed the Spurs’ lead to 73-59. The spurt was highlighted by Splitter’s half-hook from the left, low block and a two-handed dunk on consecutive possessions.
Notes: New Jersey and San Antonio wore their ABA jerseys as part of the Nets’ Hardwood Classic Night. … The Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, the NBA’s new out-of-nowhere star, was praised by both the Spurs and the Nets. “I think it’s great for the NBA,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. Offered Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: “He looks damn good, that’s for sure.” … Friday night’s game marked the final time Richard Jefferson would play in New Jersey against the team for which he played the first seven years of his career. “I have a lot of fond memories here,” Jefferson said. “I’ll try not to get too nostalgic until after the game.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.