<
>

Spurs win despite just six points from Duncan

11/17/2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Here's a new twist: The San Antonio Spurs carried Tim Duncan.

Bruce Bowen scored 14 points, Tony Parker had 13 and the Spurs barely needed Duncan in a 90-77 win Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who dropped their sixth straight.

"Everybody really stepped it up for us,'' Duncan said. "It was
great to just sit there and watch.''

Duncan spent most of the game in foul trouble, playing a
season-low 21 minutes before last year's NBA MVP fouled out with
6:06 left.

But by then, the Spurs were ahead by 19 and won for the first time in three games on an Eastern road trip. Duncan, who came in averaging 20.9 points, finished with just six points and seven rebounds.

"Tim took the night off,'' David Robinson joked. "He's usually not in foul trouble. It seemed like they (officials) were out to get him.''

Duncan, too, thought the refs were a bit whistle happy.

"Four of them were cheap,'' he said of a few foul calls. "I was hacking tonight.''

San Antonio's outside game bailed out the Spurs, who made a season-high 10 3-pointers. Bowen went 4-for-4 behind the arc and Parker made all three of his 3s.

Robinson and Kevin Willis added 12 points apiece, and Malik Rose
had 13 rebounds in 28 minutes.

"I thought Malik was great,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He was real steady on offense. He took shots, drove when he had opportunities along with rebounding. He was huge off the bench.''

Ricky Davis had 22 points for the Cavs, now winless since
stunning the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in
Cleveland's home opener.

Tyrone Hill had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland. Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas didn't take advantage of Duncan's absence and scored a season-low four points on 2-of-12 shooting.

The Cavs placed forward Darius Miles on the injured list before
the game with tendinitis in his left knee and dressed only 10
players. Miles had surgery on the same knee this summer.

"Nothing too serious,'' Miles said afterward. "I need to take a couple of games off. I'm not jumping like I used to.''

With both Duncan and Robinson on the bench, the Spurs maintained
a double-digit lead over the final 2:23 of the third quarter and
then took a 66-51 lead into the fourth when Parker drained a
3-pointer -- San Antonio's ninth -- with one second remaining.

Down by 10, the Cavs had several chances to close the gap after Duncan picked up his fifth foul with 6:54 left in the third. But Cleveland failed to convert on two fastbreaks, Davis forced a shot and Milt Palacio had a turnover.

Cavs coach John Lucas screamed at his players at the end of the period, knowing they let the Spurs off easily.

"We had a chance at the end of the third,'' Lucas said. "We have to convert on those fastbreaks. We have to make the most of every opportunity. If you told me we would have held them to 90 points, I would have told you we would win.''

Duncan picked up his third personal foul with 4:41 left before halftime and had to come out.

The Spurs didn't miss a beat without him, however. Bowen made consecutive 3-pointers and San Antonio built its lead to 43-28 with 1:41 remaining.

Davis made two baskets in the final 52 seconds to get the Cavs
to 43-32 at the break.

Game notes
Robinson, who announced that this will be his final season, received a music collection from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a gift from the Cavs. Robinson plays piano and saxophone. ...
Before the game, Cleveland owner Gordon Gund complimented Lucas on
the job he's done with the Cavs, the NBA's second-youngest team.
"I am, too,'' Lucas said with a smile. ... The Cavs activated rookie G
Dajuan Wagner to fill Miles' spot. Wagner hasn't played yet this
season after being hospitalized with a bladder infection and
undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot. ... Cavs C DeSagana Diop
scored his first basket in 88 minutes this season.