David Robinson added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs
dealt the Rockets their fifth straight loss.
The victory failed to mask the Spurs' inconsistent play.
San Antonio scored 13 unanswered points and raced to a 17-2
first-quarter lead. The Spurs overcame an eight-point second
quarter and shot just 30 percent over the final three quarters.
"We were just missing shots," Duncan said. "We had a lot of
great looks during that second quarter. But the shots just weren't
The Spurs were at a loss to explain their play after the first
"We got off to a good start and were in a really good rhythm,"
Terry Porter said. "But after that, something just happened. I
don't know what it was but we were saying after the game that we
set basketball back about 10 years those last three quarters."
Coach Gregg Popovich said the Spurs are still getting
comfortable with each other.
"You have to take your hats off to the Rockets," Popovich
said. "They played very well in a game they were 'not supposed to
win.' They played better than us in a lot of ways.
"We have a long way to go on offense. We have to try to be
consistent and get to know one another so we can execute better."
The Spurs beat the Rockets for the 12th time in 13 games.
"It wasn't pretty but it was a win," Duncan said. "We didn't
play our best but we never have up and made some things happen in
Houston lost its fifth straight and played its third straight
game without starting guards Steve Francis (ruptured plantar fascia
in left foot) and Cuttino Mobley (left ankle sprain).
"We have our best basketball ahead of us," Houston coach Rudy
Tomjanovich said. "So, we can't get in that desperate situation
where we make unsound decisions.
"We missed 25 layups. They had a lot to do with it. If we make
five, we've got a game. We kept our composure. If effort and desire
can get you a win, we should have had it."
Game notes Francis and Mobley missed their third straight game. The
Rockets are 0-4 all-time when both players are out. ... Spurs have
held 10 of their last 11 opponents to fewer than 100 points. ...
Spurs won 11 straight from Houston before dropping the last game of
the series last season. ... San Antonio is now 72-71 all-time vs.