Friday , Apr , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Spurs attempt to take 3-0 lead over Sacramento

=== Spurs attempt to take 3-0 lead over Sacramento ===

(Sports Network) – The defending world champion San Antonio Spurs attempt to
grab a commanding 3-0 lead over the Sacramento Kings tonight at ARCO Arena in
their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

This is a best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played on Sunday at ARCO Arena.

After the Spurs won Game 1 in convincing fashion, 122-88, Sacramento put up a
better fight in the second game of the set. On Tuesday, Brent Barry hit a
game-tying three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation and Manu
Ginobili scored eight of his 32 points in overtime, as the top-seeded Spurs
fought past No. 8 Sacramento, 128-119, at the AT&T Center.

Ginobili finished 10-of-20 from the field and also dished out nine assists in
Game 2s win, while Barry and Tony Parker both finished with 22 points for the
Spurs. All-Star forward Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the
victory.

Bonzi Wells ended with 28 points and 12 boards and Shareef Abdur-Rahim posted
27 points and nine rebounds in Game 2s loss for Sacramento, which was playing
without defensive-stopper Ron Artest.

Artest, who scored 16 points in the opener, was suspended on Monday for making
forearm contact to the head of Ginobili in the third quarter of Game 1. He is
eligible to return for tonight’s contest.

The Spurs have lost two of their last three Game 3s in the postseason, while
the Kings have lost four of their last five Game 3s.

Sacramento has won three of four and eight of their last 10 games as the host
in the postseason.

This is the first time that the Spurs and Kings have squared off in the
postseason.

San Antonio, which defeated the Detroit Pistons in seven games in last year’s
NBA Finals, reached 60 wins for the third time in franchise history
during the regular season. It won 62 contests in 1994-95 and 60 during the
2002-03 campaign.

The Spurs have won the NBA title in two of three and three of the last seven
years (1999, 2003, 2005). San Antonio has reached at least the
conference semifinals five straight years. The last time the Spurs were
eliminated in the first round was in the 2000 playoffs, when they fell in four
games, 3-1, to the Phoenix Suns.

The Kings have returned to the playoffs for an eighth straight year. They
lost in five games in the first round of last year’s playoffs to the Seattle
SuperSonics. They have been eliminated three times in the opening round during
their seven-year run in the postseason.

During the regular season, San Antonio won two of the three meetings between
the clubs. The Spurs defeated the Kings, 96-93, on November 21, 2005 at ARCO
Arena, while the teams split a pair of contests at San Antonio.

Sacramento was a solid 27-14 at ARCO Arena during the regular season, while
the Spurs were an impressive 29-12 on the road.

SAC SAN