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Spurs hold on to beat Wizards, notch 3rd win in a row

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- All it took was a dunk to get Manu Ginobili
going offensively.

Ginobili scored the final 14 points for the Spurs, including
going 9-for-9 from the free throw line, as San Antonio beat the
Washington Wizards 106-99 on Saturday night.

Ginobili had 16 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the
Spurs came back from a 10-point deficit.

Tony Parker added 24 of his 28 points in the second half for the
Spurs (57-16), who have won three straight and hold a three-game
lead over Southwest Division-rival Dallas for the best record in
the Western Conference.

Ginobili started the fourth quarter with a dunk. Before the
dunk, he was 2-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-6 from the line for
six points.

"I was trying to get it to the rim before, but I just couldn't
make a shot," Ginobili said. "In the fourth quarter, I started
with the dunk, and the whole game changed for me in those couple of
minutes."

The Spurs held a 92-91 lead with 2:35 left in the fourth quarter
before Ginobili took over. He scored five straight points for San
Antonio to extend the lead to 97-91.

"I thought Ginobili and Parker made great plays down the
stretch," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said, "and that's why they
were able to get the win."

Washington (37-35), which is in fifth place in the Eastern
Conference, saw its lead drop to a half-game over Milwaukee. The
Bucks beat Indiana.

Gilbert Arenas scored 31 points, Antawn Jamison added 26 and
Caron Butler had 21 for the Wizards. Butler missed his first seven
shots of the game.

The Wizards went on a 21-6 run over a 3:53 stretch in the third
quarter. It eventually led to a 72-62 lead with 56 seconds left in
the quarter.

That lead was trimmed to five points at the end of the quarter
after Parker scored on a fast-break layup and a free throw. He also
had an assist on Brent Barry's slam dunk.

San Antonio got key fourth-quarter 3-pointers from Michael
Finley, Barry, Bruce Bowen and Ginobili. Barry's 3-pointer tied the
game with 8:21 remaining.

Washington opened the fourth quarter with a 72-67 lead.

The Spurs shot 4-of-5 from 3-point territory in the fourth
quarter.

Trailing 40-33 at halftime and shooting only 32 percent from the
field (12-for-37), the Wizards were on their way to several
season-low performances. Washington's offense woke up in the third
quarter as they outscored the Spurs 39-27.

The Wizards held Tim Duncan scoreless in the quarter while
Arenas had 11 and Butler eight.

Duncan, who has been suffering from the flu, finished with 16
points and 14 rebounds in 31 minutes.

"He said he wanted to go," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"We tried to keep him off the court for long stretches, so we were
taking him in and out."

The loss was Washington's first in four games this season
against the conference leaders, San Antonio and Detroit.

Game notes
Wizards guard Antonio Daniels, a former Spurs player, went
to the locker room with 2:35 remaining in the game after he
suffered a cut near his left eye when he was fouled by Duncan. ...
The Wizards finished a six-game road trip and return home Tuesday
against New York. But they still have six more road games among
their 10 games remaining in the regular season. ... San Antonio has
nine games remaining with six at home. ... San Antonio blocked 10
shots, which fell short of the season-best 12 against Golden State
on Feb. 25.