Sunday , Dec , 12 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Duncan and Spurs scorch Cavs

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan netted 25 of his 34 points
before halftime as the San Antonio Spurs shot a blistering 84 percent in the
opening half on the way to a 116-97 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the SBC

Duncan shot 13-for-15 while Bruce Bowen was 8-of-11 for a season-high 20
points. Tony Parker added 18 points and his 13 assists bested his previous
mark for the season as the Spurs snapped a brief-two game slide, including
Thursday’s tough loss to Houston in which Tracy McGrady scored 13 points in
the final 35 seconds.

“We wanted to jump on them early and get the last game out of our minds,”
Duncan said. “Things were really going down for us in the first half.”

Drew Gooden’s 28 points were the most for him since coming to Cleveland. He
also grabbed nine rebounds and LeBron James scored 23 points while dishing out
10 assists for the Cavaliers, who have dropped 15 in a row in San Antonio
dating back to December 8, 1988.

The Spurs connected on 26 of their 31 attempts in the first half and scored 69
points, eclipsing their previous high for the season by 10 points. They led
31-21 after one quarter and began the second with an 11-3 surge to assume an
18-point margin.

A three-point play from Jeff McInnis got the Cavs within 15 before Duncan
started and finished an 11-2 run for a commanding 61-37 cushion.

Duncan hit two more jumpers in the final minute to close out the half shooting
11-of-12 with his team ahead 69-45.

Gooden came up with 18 points in the second half to help Cleveland narrow the
gap to 14. His jumper preceded a three by James that trimmed the deficit to
99-85 less than five minutes into the final stanza.

Bowen held the Cavs at bay with eight consecutive Spurs points in just over a
minute to make it 107-87. He finished with 10 points in the period.