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Spurs capitalize on Carter's ailing calf

12/13/2001

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Toronto Raptors played the second half against San Antonio without Vince Carter, and the Spurs took full advantage.

Tim Duncan scored 28 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 108-95 victory on Wednesday night.

Steve Smith added 17 points, and Tony Parker 11 for the Spurs, who have won five straight. With the win, San Antonio improved to 15-4, the franchise's best record after 19 games.

"We played sound and I'm happy about that," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We still have a long way to go. We have to play better this weekend."

Carter, who entered the game second in the NBA in scoring at 27 points per game, did not play in the second half after bruising his right calf in the second quarter. He finished with only six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

"It's real sore right now," Carter said. "I'm a strong player and actually in the second half I couldn't make it to the court. Oh well, that's the way it goes."

Alvin Williams scored 16 points, and Keon Clark added 14 for
Toronto. Hakeem Olajuwon had nine points and nine blocked shots.
Olajuwon's seven first-half blocks tied the record for most by a
San Antonio opponent in one half.

"You never like to come out without your star," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkins said. "It just takes something out of what we do. He caught a knee in the calf. He was pretty sore and wasn't able to come back. That, plus we didn't have Antonio Davis, either. We were sort of handicapped."

San Antonio, which led 54-47 at halftime, opened the third
quarter with a 18-9 run to lead 72-56 capped by Duncan's jump shot
with 6:03 left in the period.

After Toronto cut the lead to 75-64, San Antonio closed the
quarter with a 6-0 run to lead 86-68 on Antonio Daniels' 19-foot
jump shot at the buzzer.

San Antonio stretched its lead to 21 in the fourth quarter,
96-75, on Charles Smith's three-point play with 8:25 remaining.

"Everybody had to pick it up," said Williams, who was 7-of-11 from the field. "San Antonio played well in the second half and deserved to win."

Toronto could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

"The second quarter was a real turning point for us," Robinson
said. "We really turned up the defense and did a better job
covering the boards and challenging their shots much better."

Game notes
The Raptors have now scored 100-or-more points in only two
of the last 14 games ... Toronto played without injured forward
Antonio Davis, who returned to Toronto on Wednesday with a sore
left knee. He is questionable for Sunday's game with Washington.
... Carter came in with back-to-back 40-plus scoring games. ...
Carter averaged only 16.5 points in two games against San Antonio
last season ... Duncan's double-double was his 16th this season in
19 games, and 236th of his career.