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Duncan's Spurs hand Cavs seventh straight loss

11/19/2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Struggling to find wins, the San Antonio
Spurs have temporarily found a solution -- play the Cleveland
Cavaliers.

Tim Duncan scored 25 points to lead San Antonio over Cleveland
104-78 Monday night, the Cavaliers' seventh straight loss.

The Spurs, who have won 27 of the last 30 meetings, beat the
Cavaliers 90-77 on Saturday in Cleveland even though Duncan was
held to a season-low six points because of foul trouble.

''We played the same game as we did in Cleveland and that's a
good sign,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. ''It's tough to
play the same team back-to-back after you beat them the first time.
I was pleased with our aggressiveness and tenacity. The bench was
terrific. Hopefully, we will continue to improve.''

San Antonio had five players in double figures. Stephen Jackson
added 18 points, while Steve Smith and Kevin Willis scored 12
apiece.

Cleveland was led by Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who scored 25 points.
Ricky Davis added 19.

''I knew Duncan was going to come out and have a good game
tonight,'' Ilgauskas said. ''It's tough to contain a player that
good two games in a row. I knew he was motivated to play well. They
just made the shots they missed in Cleveland.''

Leading 48-37 at halftime, San Antonio opened the third quarter
with a 10-6 run to lead 58-43 on David Robinson's dunk with 6:49 to
play in the period.

Cleveland rallied to close the gap to 65-58 on two free throws
by Ilgauskas with 36.6 seconds to go.

San Antonio went on a 10-0 run and led 77-58 on a layup by Bruce
Bowen with 9:56 remaining in the game.

From there, the Spurs stretched the advantage to as many as 28
points in the fourth quarter and rolled to an easy victory.

''Tonight our turnovers led to points and theirs did not,''
Cleveland coach John Lucas said. ''We are a young team, but I
thought we did a lot of good things at points in this game. Their
bench hurt us a lot, too. They didn't miss much when they went to
their bench.''

Duncan was poked in the right eye by Davis but returned to score
14 first-half points. San Antonio outscored Cleveland 25-14 in the
second quarter.

''We really did a much better job of moving the ball around,''
said Duncan, who shot 9-of-16 from the floor and also grabbed nine
rebounds. ''They really hurt us in the start of the game, but once
we got settled in defensively and took our time, we really started
to make things go better.''

The Spurs held Cleveland to only 37.5 percent shooting.

Game notes
Robinson was held to only three points and three rebounds.
... San Antonio's Emanuel Ginobili left in the fourth quarter after
spraining his right ankle. ... San Antonio also beat the Cavaliers
90-77 on Nov. 16 in Cleveland. ... The Spurs are 27-3 against
Cleveland in San Antonio and have won 21 of their last 24 against
the Cavaliers. ... Duncan was one rebound shy of his fifth
double-double of the season.