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Ginobili steps in, pours in 31 points

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs survived scares from
both Tim Duncan and the Utah Jazz.

Duncan missed most of the second half after spraining his right
ankle, but Manu Ginobili led the Spurs in his absence with 31
points to help San Antonio edge the Utah Jazz 101-94 Sunday night.

Duncan was helped from the floor 3:48 into the second half with
the Jazz ahead 59-58. He did not return.

X-rays were negative, but coach Gregg Popovich said he doesn't
expect Duncan to play Tuesday when the Spurs host New Jersey. His
status is listed as day to day.

After erasing a 14-point first-half deficit and taking the lead
early in the third, the Jazz stuck with the Spurs while Duncan was
out. They closed to 93-91 with 1:11 to play on Raja Bell's two foul
shots.

But Ginobili went 6-for-6 in the final 30 seconds to stymie
Utah's comeback.

Ginobili had eight in the final period while Duncan was in the
X-ray room, and the Spurs got strong play from their reserves.
Robert Horry had seven in the fourth and Beno Udrih added six.

"We are not used to playing without Tim," Ginobili said. "We
said we could do nothing about that. We said we have to forget
about him. It was a big effort, and we are satisfied with it."

Duncan was defending a drive by Andrei Kirilenko when he jumped
and appeared to come down on the leg of teammate Rasho Nesterovic.

"Let's hope that Tim Duncan is OK because we don't want to see
anyone go down like that," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "Good
teams and great teams take advantage whenever they can. But right
now, we're not that kind of a team."

Duncan has missed two games this season with a right ankle
sprain -- a victory Feb. 8 against Charlotte and a loss the next
night at Washington.

Ginobili was 7-of-11 from the floor and made all but one of his
15 foul shots.

Keith McCleod led the Jazz with 18 points.

The Jazz trimmed the deficit to 73-72 at the start of the fourth
quarter. But the Spurs countered with eight straight and led 81-72
with 9:55 remaining.

Ginobili helped the Spurs build a 14-point lead with 7 minutes
left in the second quarter. He hit four of his first five shots and
was perfect in three tries from the foul line through the first 13
minutes of the game.

After the Jazz cut the lead to five points with 4 minutes to go
in the first half, the Spurs went on a 10-3 run over the next 2:03
to retake control.

Ginobili scored six points during the run, including two free
throws after a flagrant foul by Bell. After converting at the line,
Ginobili got free under the basket on the next possession and
scored on a pass from Duncan for a 48-37 lead.

Game notes
Former Spurs star Sean Elliott had his No. 32 jersey
retired before the game. Arizona men's basketball coach Lute Olson,
who coached Elliott with the Wildcats from 1985-89, was in
attendance. ... Utah center Jarron Collins missed the game because
of a sprained right shoulder he injured Friday at New Orleans. He
was replaced in the starting lineup by Curtis Borchardt. ... Nazr
Mohammed, obtained by the Spurs in a trade from the New York Knicks
prior to the trade deadline, did not play because of a strained
groin. He hurt it Friday against Chicago. ... Sloan remained one
game behind Red Auerbach for sixth place on the NBA career coaching
victories list at 937.