Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Thursday, November 18th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 1st

Spurs 88

(7-1, 3-1 away)

76ers 80

(4-5, 3-3 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 18, 2004

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
SA 20 20 15 3388
PHI 6 27 26 2180

Top Performers

SA: T. Duncan 34 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast

Phi: K. Korver 17 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

Six-point opening quarter helps deep-six Sixers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With the game on the line, the San Antonio Spurs turned to -- who else? -- Tim Duncan.

Duncan scored a season-high 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Spurs to their fifth straight victory, 88-80 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

"It's almost like you take it for granted like David (Robinson's) games used to be," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He just played a great all-around game. He really put it on his shoulders, showed some great leadership and brought his team around."

Allen Iverson scored 24, Kyle Korver had 17 and Corliss Williamson added 15 for the Sixers, who set a dubious team record by scoring just 6 points in the first quarter.

Rasho Nesterovic had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Manu Ginobili scored 17 for San Antonio, which had lost four in a row in Philadelphia since winning on Nov. 22, 1999. The Spurs improved to 7-1, their best start since the 1991-92 season.

"It was a great game for us," Duncan said. "We played pretty good defense. They missed some shots and we gave ourselves a lead there. They did a hell of a job coming back, but we fought straight through."

The Sixers, who trailed by 14 in the first half, took their first lead, 55-53, on a 3-pointer by Korver with 3:14 left in the third. Philadelphia held the lead until the Spurs went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter.

A 14-footer by Duncan gave San Antonio a 64-62 lead it never relinquished. Ginobili's 3-pointer made it 67-62, and the Spurs held on down the stretch.

A three-point play by Iverson cut it to 82-78 with 1:36 left, but Duncan answered with a running, one-handed jumper from the baseline.

"We didn't knock down shots available to us," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien said. "They did what they had to do in the fourth quarter. They're a potential world champion."

Philadelphia finished its five-game homestand with two consecutive losses after winning the first three games.

Iverson left in the final minute after injuring his right elbow running into a broadcast table. X-rays were negative.

Spurs point guard Tony Parker was scoreless in 32 minutes, missing two shots and two free throws. He had eight rebounds and six assists, and held Iverson to 8-for-24 shooting.

"I didn't have that many opportunities," Parker said. "I just tried to run the game, move the ball and get it inside."

The Sixers missed their first 16 shots before Korver made a short jumper with 4:30 left in the first quarter. Iverson missed five shots during the 7½-minute scoreless stretch, and Andre Iguodala missed a dunk.

Philadelphia finished the quarter 3-for-25 and trailed 20-6.

"It was hard to watch," Korver said. "They were good shots, but the ball didn't want to go in the basket for some reason."

The Sixers outscored San Antonio 23-10 to start the second quarter, closing to 30-29 on a jumper by Iverson. The Spurs finished the quarter on a 10-4 run to take a 40-33 halftime lead.

Game notes

The Sixers' previous low for any quarter was 9 points against Boston last March 28. ... The Sixers didn't allow 50 points in the first half for just the second time in nine games. ... The Spurs had won their first six games by an average of 14.5 points. ... Spurs F Malik Rose, a Philadelphia native who went to Drexel, had 2 points in 12 minutes. He missed an open layup in the third quarter. ... Iverson has at least one steal in 29 straight games, dating to last season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 88 80
FGM-FGA 31-76 (.408) 29-82 (.354)
3PM-3PA 4-15 (.267) 4-8 (.500)
FTM-FTA 22-32 (.688) 18-21 (.857)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-50 12-42
Assists 26 16
Turnovers 19 17
Steals 8 8
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 0 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 27 (1/0)

Top Performers

San Antonio
Tim Duncan Duncan
Points: 34
Reb: 13
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Kyle Korver Korver
Points: 17
Reb: 2
Ast: 4
Stl: 3
Blk: 0