SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- With Shaquille O'Neal dressed in a white suit
and sitting on the bench, the Miami Heat had nobody to stop Tim
Duncan had 28 points and 16 rebounds, Manu Ginobili added 27
points, and the Spurs dominated in the paint in a 98-84 victory
over the Heat on Wednesday night.
"We have to attack down low, especially with Shaq out," Duncan
said. "That's got to be a big play for us."
The Spurs scored 54 points in the paint, compared to 22 for the
Heat. Ginobili's ability to drive the lane helped him get back on
track after he was 1-for-4 from the field against Orlando on
"It helps to get some confidence and get shots going to the
basket," he said. "I tried to attack the rim more often tonight
than I had been."
The Spurs have won five straight and are 15-3.
Dwyane Wade scored 31 points but got little help from the rest
of the Heat, who shot 36 percent from the field. O'Neal, who
sprained his ankle Nov. 3 in the Heat's home opener against
Indiana, remained on the team's inactive list.
The finished 2-3 on their five-game road trip. Despite the
strong play of Duncan and Ginobili, Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said
the key to the game was Tony Parker. Parker had a season-high 11
assists and scored 14 points as the Spurs shot 47 percent.
"Tony Parker, if you've been watching this year, has just been
picking people apart on the pick-and-rolls," Van Gundy said. "We
made it a major emphasis and made a decent effort. ... It was tough
to contain him tonight."
San Antonio led by three points after the first quarter, but
Gary Payton hit two quick jumpers to begin the second and Antoine
Walker's layup gave the Heat their first lead of game with 9:19 to
go. The Heat tied the score twice before the Spurs went on a 20-5
run, including nine points by Ginobili in the final 2:11 of the
The Spurs went to the locker room with a 47-30 lead.
James Posey began the third with two 3-pointers for the Heat.
But Michael Doleac's ejection with 5:25 in the quarter for a
flagrant foul on Parker halted Miami's momentum. Parker hit both
free throws to give San Antonio a 20-point lead, its largest of the
"I don't even think we had time to realize we were down by
20," Wade said. "But you just continue to fight back, especially
against a team as good as the Spurs."
The Heat cut it to 12 at the end of the quarter, and Wade hit
two free throws to cut the lead to eight with 3:29 left. But the
Heat wouldn't get any closer than seven.
Ginobili hit key free throws down the stretch and drove the lane
to match scores by the Heat, whose league-leading shot blocker,
Alonzo Mourning, had no blocks.
"There were a lot of good contributions by a lot of people,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It worked out well for us. We
had pretty good overall defense and good offense, but a little
sloppy. The good defense carried us through."
O'Neal took part in halfcourt drills during Wednesday
morning's pregame shootaround at the SBC Center. He said afterward
that his right ankle was improving, though he wouldn't predict when
he expects to be able to play again. ... Bowen, second in the
league in 3-point percentage, was held to 2-of-7 from behind the
arc. ... The Spurs placed Sean Marks on the inactive list, and Earl
Barron, Dorell Wright and O'Neal were inactive for the Heat.