Friday , Mar , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Defending world champs are comfortable at home

(Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs (48-13) are tied with the Dallas
Mavericks for first place in the Southwest Division and the top spot in
the Western Conference.

On Friday, the Spurs open a four-game homestand when they welcome the Los
Angeles Lakers to the AT&T Center. It is the third meeting of the campaign
between the clubs. In the two previous contests, the Spurs picked up victories
on November 29th at home and on March 6th on the road.

The Spurs have won seven straight over the Lakers, who have lost three in a
row at San Antonio. The last time the Lakers defeated the Spurs was on
December 3, 2003 at San Antonio.

The Lakers are scheduled to host the Spurs on March 30th in the fourth and
final meeting of the regular season between the squads.

The Spurs return home after going 2-1 on a three-game road trip. On Thursday,
Tony Parker poured in 29 points and San Antonio put an end to Phoenix’s 11-
game winning streak with an impressive 117-93 victory at America West Arena.

Manu Ginobili added 18 points, while Tim Duncan netted 16 in the win over the
Suns for the Spurs, who rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to the Clippers and
posted their eighth win in their nine games overall.

Ginobili ended 6-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range,
while Duncan was 8-of-11 from the floor. San Antonio shot a sizzling 55.2
percent as a team.

San Antonio, which will also host Houston, New Orleans Oklahoma City, and
Phoenix on the current stand, is an impressive 26-3 as the host this season.
The Spurs have won seven in a row at home.

Parker leads the Spurs in scoring (19.4 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg), while
Duncan is averaging a team-best 11.4 rebounds per game. The 6-2 Parker has
netted 20 or more points in three straight and five of his last six outings.

The Spurs are scheduled to play 12 of their final 21 games at home.