Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Duncan, Spurs pound Rockets

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan scored 26 points on 10-of-14
shooting, as the San Antonio Spurs got their eighth straight win, after
opening a four-game road trip with a 97-74 win against the division-rival
Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.

Michael Finley scored 14 points for San Antonio, which has won four in a row
on the road and is 21-10 as the visitor this season. Francisco Elson netted 13
points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Beno Udrih added 12 points for the
Spurs, who will also visit the Clippers, Trail Blazers and Kings on the
current road swing.

The Spurs won despite guard Tony Parker, who was scratched from the lineup
with a left hip flexor.

“We knew we had to play one of our better games against a tough Houston team,”
Finley said. “During our streak it’s been a total team effort and it is a
beautiful thing to watch. It’s definitely been our defense and that is the
catalyst that we depend on every game.”

Tracy McGrady netted 21 points for the Rockets, who have lost three straight
at home and are 20-10 at the Toyota Center this season. Kirk Snyder added 14
points for Houston, which was without guard Bonzi Wells (sore right foot).

“For us to turn the ball over 10 times in the first quarter, that just says it
all right there,” McGrady said. “And, Duncan got off to a great start to get
those guys going, and they never looked back.”

San Antonio attained an early advantage by opening the game on an 18-5 run
capped by a Duncan fade away midway through the first quarter, and led 30-15
heading into the second.

With Houston trailing by 18 with just under two minutes left in the second,
McGrady scored six straight points and the Rockets cut their halftime deficit
to 54-42.

San Antonio kept Houston at bay out of the locker room, starting the second
half on a 15-7 run finished by a Jacque Vaughn jumper with 7:33 remaining for
a 20-point cushion, 69-49. The Spurs maintained control down the stretch as
well, and led 81-59 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Saturday’s showdown between San Antonio and Houston was the fourth and final
meeting of the regular season. The season series finished at 2-2, and Houston
had a two-game winning streak snapped after losing the previous seven
encounters…San Antonio has won 15 of the last 19 overall meetings and four
straight at the Rockets.