San Antonio wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

San Antonio wins series 4-2

Game 1: Sunday, May 8th
Game 2: Tuesday, May 10th
Game 3: Thursday, May 12th
Game 4: Sunday, May 15th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 17th
Game 6: Thursday, May 19th

SuperSonics 91

(52-30, 26-15 away)

Spurs 108

(59-23, 38-3 home)

8:30 PM ET, May 10, 2005

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 16 26 23 2691
SA 28 26 25 29108

Top Performers

Sea: R. Allen 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

SA: M. Ginobili 28 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Ginobili goes 9-of-11 from field off the bench

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Manu Ginobili is certainly good enough to start for the San Antonio Spurs. It's just that when he comes off the bench, he makes his club better.

Using his usual array of layups and long jumpers, the suave Argentine pepped up the San Antonio offense as soon as he stepped on the court Tuesday night. Ginobili ended up making 9 of 11 shots and scoring 28 points, leading the Spurs to a 108-91 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night for a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.

"I don't really know what he does," said San Antonio center Tim Duncan, who was his usual steady self with 25 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. "He just kind of puts his head down and goes and we pray for the best."

Ginobili's head was up when Duncan spoke. He laughed and shouted, "That's so unfair."

The Spurs should be enjoying themselves since they've won six straight this postseason, with the victories coming by an average of 16 points. Their roll began after following a stunning home loss to Denver in the playoff opener and coach Gregg Popovich making one major change -- starting Brent Barry and using Ginobili as a super sub.

"It was a pretty good move," said Seattle coach Nate McMillan. "Manu is capable of creating his own offense and when Tim is sitting it gives (Ginobili) an opportunity to play with the ball. He provides scoring with that second unit and you get more balance with him coming off the bench."

Seattle's Ray Allen shook off a sprained ankle that knocked him out of the opener and scored 25 points in 42 minutes. Rashard Lewis scored 22. The Sonics even had a stretch of 22 points scored by that duo.

Problem was, Allen missed five of his first seven shots and Lewis started 0-for-6. Lewis later made five straight and Allen scored 12 points in the third quarter, but by then it was too late. Any chance of a fourth-quarter rally was doused by Allen taking just two shots, both 3-pointers, with neither going in.

"There were just a lot of breaks in this game and it seemed like none of them went our way," said Allen, who was booed throughout because of his off-day cries about San Antonio defensive whiz Bruce Bowen being a dirty player.

"By no means is this team coming apart. We've been one unit all year long and that is why we are here. This team has always handled losing well and has always responded. We just have to go home now and give our fans a show."

Considering how the Spurs have dominated the Sonics in every aspect, leading for all but 62 seconds, perhaps Seattle's best hope is that overconfidence gets the best of San Antonio.

That's not likely.

The Spurs certainly remember what happened this time last year, when they led Los Angeles 2-0 after winning the first two games of the second round at home. The series moved to the Pacific Coast and San Antonio didn't win again. In case anyone forgot, Popovich will surely mention it before they fly to Seattle for Games 3 and 4, starting Thursday night.

"We have to stay humble," Ginobili said. "We've got a lot of room to improve. We really want to do it. We want to become, as soon as possible, the best team that we can be."

Apparently, that begins with Ginobili on the bench.

Duncan made three of San Antonio's first four shots, but things were sluggish until Ginobili came in. He made two 3-pointers and a layup, then set up Parker for another, and San Antonio went up 20-8. The lead grew to 42-24 with 5:19 left in first half.

Seattle got within eight before halftime, but the Spurs were back up by 12 at the break. The Sonics cut the lead to 72-63 late in the third quarter, then a free throw by Ginobili, a pair by Parker, a layup by Robert Horry off a nice pass from Ginobili and two more foul shots by Parker stretched the lead back to 14.

San Antonio kept a double-digit cushion the rest of the way, with center Nazr Mohammed padding the final score with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Ginobili's aggressiveness sometimes gets the best of him, as evidenced by his five turnovers. But his jumpers, drives and passing (four assists) kept the offense going as the Sonics did a better job clamping down on Parker after he scored 29 points in the opener.

Ginobili also contributed on defense, blocking Allen twice on one possession, even though scorers only credited him with one swat.

Guarding Allen wasn't easy. Bowen was called for five fouls in 17 minutes. Brent Barry also had a ticky-tack foul called on him while guarding Allen.

"I tried to adjust to it, show them my hands, but it just didn't work," Bowen said. "It's all about overcoming all obstacles so that you can stay focused on that common goal of winning."

Antonio Daniels scored 16 for the Sonics, while the frontcourt continued to struggle. Jerome James scored eight points and Reggie Evans had just one, with 12 rebounds.

Game notes

The Sonics are 0-4 in a seven-game series when going down 0-2. ... Allen was 10-of-10 on free throws, upping his postseason free-throw streak to 43. ... Both coaches received votes for coach of the year. Seattle's Nate McMillan was third and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich was eighth, getting one second-place vote.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press