The atmosphere wasn't the same, Duncan said, but the Spurs
managed to win again.
Duncan scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and Bruce Bowen
scored a career-high 22 points as the Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks
103-88 on Saturday night.
One night after a win over O'Neal's Miami Heat, the Spurs were
businesslike in a victory over the Hawks as they relied on their
defense until Bowen sparked the offense.
The attendance at Philips Arena was 11,326, and Duncan said
"it's tough sometimes" when playing before small crowds.
"You don't have that energy from the crowd," Duncan said.
Collier, the starter in the Hawks' rotation at center, scored
four points with two rebounds in 12 minutes.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich applauded his team's ability to avoid
"If you want to be the best, you have to respect all the teams
you play against and understand it really doesn't matter who you
play," Popovich said. "I think we did that fairly well tonight."
While Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined for only 12 points,
Bowen provided scoring support by making each of his five
"Nobody expected Bruce Bowen to be five-for-five from the 3s,"
said Antoine Walker, who led Atlanta with 23 points.
Bowen, averaging 6.0 points per game, called his career-best
night "nothing special."
"It was just a matter of getting opportunities and trying to
take advantage of them," said Bowen, a member of the NBA's
all-defensive team each of the last four years.
After the Spurs built a 65-41 lead midway through the third
quarter, the Hawks scored 11 straight points spanning the third and
fourth quarters. The rally was capped by Royal Ivey's three-point
play with 9:44 left to play, cutting the Spurs' lead to 12 points.
A 3-pointer by Walker with 8:55 left pulled the Hawks within 10
points at 81-71, but Beno Udrih answered with a 3-pointer for the
Walker sank four 3-pointers in the final quarter. Atlanta's only
other scorer in double figures was Al Harrington with 10 points.
Walker, Harrington and Kenny Anderson drew technical fouls for
Atlanta. A frustrated Harrington earned his by throwing the ball
into the stands in the fourth quarter.
"He didn't get the looks he normally gets," said Hawks coach
Mike Woodson, who said other scorers have to fill the void.
"We can't be just Al Harrington and Antoine Walker," Woodson
said. "We have to get some other guys involved."
Spurs center Rasho Nesterovic had a double-double with 10 points
and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks, who set a team record with only 25 second-half points
Tuesday night against Cleveland, were back in a scoring rut early
against the Spurs. Atlanta trailed 44-35 at halftime after shooting
28 percent in over the first two quarters.
The Spurs also were sluggish early.
Ginobili, who scored 29 points in the win over Miami Friday
night, was scoreless until converting a three-point play with 9:16
left in the third quarter. Ginobili finished with nine points and
While the Hawks' shooting woes continued in the second half --
they made only 2 of their first 10 shots -- the Spurs pulled away.
Bowen hit three 3-pointers as San Antonio built an insurmountable
^Notes: @ In the matchup of the Barry brothers, Jon Barry scored
nine points for the Hawks, and Brent Barry led San Antonio's
reserves with 13 points. ... Center Jelani McCoy, who signed with
Atlanta on Monday, made his debut late in the first quarter and
scored two points in 13 minutes. ... Hawks guard Tony Delk (sore
right knee) could return from the injured list as early as Tuesday
night against Houston.