Bruce Bowen scored a season-high 23 points and San Antonio held off a surge by the Sacramento Kings Saturday night to eke out a 100-98 victory.
Bruce Bowen led the Spurs with 23 points in their 100-98 win over the Kings. Bowen has scored 20 or more points in just seven of his 488 career starts (1.4 percent). The only active player who has scored 20 in a lower percentage of his starts (minimum 400 GS) is Ben Wallace (3 of 599, 0.5 percent). Who's the player who has scored 20 in the highest percentage of his starts? Shaquille O'Neal (81.8 percent).
"The coaching staff was real proud of us the way we came out and fought," said Martin, who went 11-of-12 from the foul line. "We knew they were going to come out and give it all they had because they came in losing three out of the last four."
The Kings entered the fourth quarter down 80-71, but were in the middle of what would be a 20-6 run.
Sacramento continued whittling down the Spurs lead by keeping them scoreless for the first 3:31 of the fourth while adding eight points of their own to get within one.
A pair of 3-pointers, one each from Robert Horry and Bowen, plus four free throws from Duncan kept Sacramento at bay until a fast-break dunk by Martin tied the game at 90. The Kings then took the lead off a jump shot from Brad Miller.
Duncan saved a near turnover and passed to Bowen, who got a good look to sink a 3-pointer. Duncan followed with four more points to put the Spurs ahead 97-92.
Manu Ginobili missed his fourth straight game with a bruised back. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thinks his star guard will be back for their next game.
The Kings' Ron Artest also was out Saturday with a sore lower back.
Michael Finley, who started in Ginobili's place, went just 2-of-8 from the field and had five points. Eric Williams, who hasn't scored yet this season, added eight off the bench.
Leading 53-45 at the half, the Spurs increased their lead to 16 near the midway point of the third off a dunk from Duncan and a 3-pointer from Bowen plus three free throws when he was fouled while shooting another.
The Spurs are now 9-1 this season when scoring at least 100 points. ... The Kings and Spurs met last month in Sacramento, where the Spurs won 108-99. ... Saturday's game was the second of a back-to-back on the road for the Kings, who lost to Dallas 109-90 Friday night.