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Duncan nets double-double after two-game absence

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan made a successful return to San
Antonio's lineup, with a lot of help from Beno Udrih and Brent
Barry.

Duncan had 18 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes to help the
Spurs rout New Orleans 112-89 on Monday night. He missed the
previous two games -- both losses -- because of a sprained right
ankle and tightness in his back.

"I felt really good, actually," Duncan said. "Beno took open
shots. Brent did the same thing. Everyone shared the ball real
well."

While Duncan returned, point guard Tony Parker missed his first
game of the season because of a quadriceps injury, and Manu
Ginobili sat out with a groin injury.

With the victory, the Spurs improved to 48-15, tied for the NBA
overall lead with Phoenix (48-15) and Miami (49-16).

Udrih, a 22-year-old rookie Slovenia, scored a career-high 25
points on 9-of-13 shooting in his first career start in place of
Parker.

Barry added 17 points in place of Ginobili.

"It's real important for those guys to do that," San Antonio
coach Gregg Popovich said, "because that's the depth we talk about
and haven't seen for about a month."

Lee Nailon had 18 points for New Orleans, 3-28 on the road.<

The Spurs raced to an 11-2 lead and had a 25-12 at the end of
the first quarter.

Hornets coach Byron Scott benched 19-year-old rookie J.R. Smith
midway through the opening quarter and played him only 3 minutes
after that.

"I was upset in his defensive play," Scott said. "I was upset
with his attitude. At 19 years old, if he's going to act like that,
he's going to sit down for a while."

Game notes
The Spurs won the season series 4-0. ... George Lynch
missed his second straight game for the Hornets following his
mother-in-law's death. ... Nazr Mohammed had his best since joining
the Spurs on Feb. 24 in a trade with New York, scoring eight points
in 21 minutes.