Friday , Dec , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Ginobili leads Spurs to easy win over Hornets

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – Manu Ginobili had 24 points, and San
Antonio did an excellent job defensively in a 103-77 victory over the Hornets
in the team’s return to New Orleans Arena.

Tony Parker tallied 19 points for the Spurs, who overcame an off night by Tim
Duncan to win their third straight. Duncan had 11 points and nine rebounds,
going 4-of-7 from the field.

Ginobili made half of his 16 field goal attempts and went 3-of-7 from beyond
the arc.

“Manu was in a rhythm tonight, playing better than he did last season, playing
like he did the year before,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He is healthy,
he has his bounce back, shooting the ball, driving, making decisions. He is
doing a real good job.”

Rasual Butler had 17 points and Desmond Mason contributed 16 points and nine
boards for the Hornets, who have lost three of four overall and eight of their
last nine versus the Spurs.

“In the long run, this is going to help us,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said of
the loss. “It will probably toughen us up a little big more. We’re going to
take our lumps right now. There is nobody in this league that is going to feel
sorry for us.”

San Antonio never trailed and led by as many as 28 points in what proved to be
a rout through three quarters.

Ginobili’s three-pointer and layup extended San Antonio to a 13-2 cushion
early and it was 29-22 after 12 minutes. The lead stood at 53-42 at the half,
but the Spurs pulled away in the third.

A Ginobili layup moved the score to 61-45 and the lead reached 20 on Brent
Barry’s three-point play with 3:04 left, moving the score to 75-55 with 3:04
remaining in the quarter.

It was 85-62 going into the fourth, and the Spurs coasted to move their road
record to 10-3 on the season.

Game Notes

Beno Udrih had 10 points for San Antonio, which shot 50 percent from the
field…Chris Paul had 12 assists for New Orleans, which played without Tyson
Chandler (flu) and Bobby Jackson (cracked left rib).