Spurs’ home dominance leads to Southwest title
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 30 points
as the San Antonio Spurs clinched the Southwest Division title with a 95-89
victory over Portland at the SBC Center.
Ginobili went 10-of-16 from the field and added seven rebounds for San
Antonio, which entered Tuesday’s action one game behind Phoenix for the top
seed in the Western Conference playoffs. It is the fourth division title for
the Spurs in the last five seasons.
In his second start for the Spurs, Nazr Mohammed netted 10 points and pulled
down 14 boards, while Bruce Bowen, Beno Udrih and Glenn Robinson contributed
11 points apiece in the win.
San Antonio won its third straight overall and ninth consecutive at the SBC
Center, improving to a league-best 37-3 at home this season.
Leading Portland, which fell to 1-8 in its last nine games, was Darius Miles
with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Joel Przybilla had 16 points, seven
rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots in the loss.
Ruben Patterson chipped in 14 points, while Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Sebastian
Telfair tallied 11 points apiece for Portland, which was outrebounded 51-38.
This game was all San Antonio in the first half as the Spurs raced to an 11-4
edge early and continued leading 23-15 after the first quarter.
A Bowen three-pointer with 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the second frame gave
San Antonio a double-digit lead, 31-21. The Spurs then ended the quarter on a
17-9 run, building a 48-30 cushion by halftime.
The Blazers outscored the Spurs 32-24 in the third quarter, trimming San
Antonio’s lead to just seven, 69-62, late in the third quarter. However, Udrih
drained a three-pointer to restore the double-digit lead, 72-62, heading into
the fourth quarter.
The teams traded baskets for a majority of the final 12 minutes with Portland
never really threatening to win the game.