Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/1

Game 1: Monday, December 1st
Game 2: Tuesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 10th
Game 4: Sunday, April 11th

Clippers 90

(26-38, 8-24 away)

Spurs 108

(43-22, 23-8 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    7:30 PM ET, March 10, 2004

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 18 24 24 2490
    SA 37 32 21 18108

    Top Performers

    LAC: C. Maggette 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast

    SA: M. Rose 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Spurs' 14-3 run sets the tone

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan returned to San Antonio's lineup Wednesday night. Not that the Spurs really needed him.

    San Antonio opened the game with a 14-3 run, built a 21-point lead late in the first quarter and coasted to a 108-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Duncan, who was activated Wednesday after missing six games, had little to do with the outcome. He scored nine points on 4-for-10 shooting and had a season-low two rebounds in 15 minutes.

    "It felt good to get up and down the court," Duncan said. "It's a process right now. It's going to take a while, my minutes are going to increase ... As I feel better, I'll let myself back in the lineup."

    Malik Rose led San Antonio with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Hedo Turkoglu scored 16 points, Manu Ginobili 14 and Tony Parker 13. Ginobili (eight) and Parker (seven) combined for 15 assists.

    Parker said the team needs to keep doing what it has been doing while being patient with Duncan, who went on the injured list after hurting the joint where the thigh bone meets the knee.

    "I don't think he's 100 percent yet -- his knee is still bothering him a little bit," Parker said. "We want to play uptempo, but not forget about Timmy."

    The game turned lopsided in the first four minutes as the Spurs amassed a double-digit lead using the same fast-paced, ball-sharing offense they relied on while Duncan was sidelined.

    Rasho Nesterovic opened the scoring by tipping in a missed layup by Duncan, and Turkoglu followed with a drive.

    Parker and Turkoglu hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Nesterovic made a 13-foot jumper and Bruce Bowen converted a layup to make the score 14-3.

    Duncan's contribution to that decisive burst was a single assist.

    "The Spurs came out like a team that got their butts kicked the night before," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "After that first quarter, it was pretty much over."

    San Antonio committed 26 turnovers Tuesday in a 94-88 loss in Memphis. During Duncan's absence, the Spurs went 4-2 -- both losses to the Grizzlies.

    Duncan's first basket came on a 21-foot jumper with 10:18 left in the second quarter to make the score 44-18.

    Elton Brand, who scored 16 for Los Angeles, credited Duncan with lifting his team even if his numbers were way below his average of 23.2 points and 13 rebounds.

    "Just his presence alone makes a difference," Brand said.

    San Antonio got its lead to 67-36 late in the first half on a dunk by Bowen, and the Clippers got no closer than 17 the rest of the way.

    The Spurs shot 9-of-18 on 3-pointers, with Ginobili and Turkoglu each making three. In its last five games, San Antonio is 38-for-74 on 3-pointers (51.4 percent).

    Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 21 points, while Keyon Dooling scored 16 and Matt Barnes 10.

    Los Angeles played its second straight game without Quentin Richardson, who is out with a sprained back. Richardson is averaging 17.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.

    Game notes

    The Spurs scored a season-high 69 points in the first half, one more than they had Nov. 21 against Atlanta. ... San Antonio, averaging 15 turnovers a game, had only one in the first half and finished with seven. ... The Clippers are 3-16 on the road versus Western Conference opponents.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 90 108
    FGM-FGA 31-69 (.449) 41-90 (.456)
    3PM-3PA 1-3 (.333) 9-18 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 27-37 (.730) 17-23 (.739)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-44 15-43
    Assists 18 28
    Turnovers 17 7
    Steals 3 11
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 27 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    San Antonio
    Corey Maggette Maggette
    Points: 21
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Malik Rose Rose
    Points: 21
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1