Wednesday , Feb , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Ginobli scores 24 straight early, Spurs hold on to beat Hawks

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Manu Ginobili poured in a season-high 40
points, including 24 straight in the first half, as the San Antonio Spurs held
off the pesky Atlanta Hawks, 103-96.

Ginobili, who went 12-of-22 from the field and 14-of-15 from the line, also
posted eight rebounds and four assists, while Tim Duncan had 30 points and
nine boards for the Spurs, who have won four in a row.

Brent Barry contributed 18 points for San Antonio, which improved to 20-10 as
the visitor this season.

Joe Johnson scored 30 points and Zaza Pachulia had 23 points to go along with
10 rebounds for the Hawks, who have dropped two straight and three of four.

A 12-0 Atlanta run late in the third quarter tied the game at 70-70 heading
into the fourth quarter, but Ginobili and the Spurs came out strong to start
the final framed to put the game away.

Ginobili opened the fourth with two from the charity stripe before sinking a
three to hand the Spurs a five-point lead. Then, after Pachulia’s free throw
made it 77-73, the Spurs hit five-straight free throws — two resulting from a
Johnson fragrant foul on Johnson and one from a technical foul on Atlanta head
coach Mike Woodson — to extend their lead to 82-73 four minutes into the
fourth.

The Hawks did not go away and were within five, 91-86, thanks to Josh
Childress’ dunk with 2:45 remaining, but Barry answered with a trey and Tony
Parker picked off Pachulia’s bad pass and broke free for a layup to give San
Antonio a 10-point cushion as the Spurs hit their free throws down the stretch
to ice the game.

After Johnson dropped in a layup and Marvin Williams hit 1-of-2 free throws to
bring Atlanta within 15-14 with just under three minutes left in the first
quarter, Ginobili drove to the lane for a layup to ignite his 24 straight San
Antonio points.

The Spurs led 23-21 at the end of the first and Ginobili opened the second
quarter up with 16 straight points, capped by three-straight free throws, to
give San Antonio its largest lead of the first half, 39-23.

Atlanta, though, responded with an 8-0 run and trailed by 52-43 on Duncan’s
putback at the buzzer.

San Antonio led 68-56 late in the third quarter before the Hawks ripped off 12
straight points, capped by five straight points by Pachulia, to tie the game
at 68-68 with 33.3 seconds remaining. Ginobili’s layup briefly put the Spurs
back in front, but Pachulia’s tip-in with just over a second left tied the
game at 70-70 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Williams scored 16 points for the Hawks, while Childress ended with 14 off the
bench…The Spurs swept both meetings with Atlanta this season…Parker
finished with just six points and four assists for San Antonio.

ATL SAN