Brent Barry scored a season-high 23 points and five other San
Antonio players reached double figures to help the Spurs snap a
three-game losing streak with a 111-95 victory over the Atlanta
Hawks on Friday night.
The victory was the first for the Spurs since two-time MVP
Duncan sprained his right ankle Sunday against Detroit. San Antonio
also played without reserve guard Devin Brown, out with a bad back.
Barry, playing more in Brown's absence, went 5-for-7 on
3-pointers in 32 minutes off the bench. In his last two games,
Barry has made seven of his 10 3-point attempts and is averaging 20
points. His season average is 7.0 points.
"I'm just trying to get myself back in rhythm," said Barry,
who has struggled with his long-range shot all season. "I just
want to take advantage of the opportunity, the playing time and
just try and find my game."
The Spurs used a 19-6 burst late in the first quarter to take a
33-17 lead, the last basket of the run coming when Parker hit Barry
for an alley-oop dunk.
Atlanta, which got as close as seven in the fourth, has lost 20
of its last 21 games.
"To get down like we did is inexcusable," said Hawks coach
Mike Woodson, whose team trailed by 23 in the first half. "We
didn't come out ready to play, and the Spurs will come out and get
San Antonio improved its league-best home record to 32-3 and
pulled within a half-game of Phoenix for the best record in the
The Spurs, who shot 29 percent on 3-pointers during the three
previous losses, made 12 of their 21 attempts behind the arc.
The Hawks, down 20 at the break, shot 61 percent in the third
quarter to shave the Spurs' lead to 86-73 after three.
Atlanta scored the first six points of the fourth, capped by a
layup by Boris Diaw with 8:13 remaining, to make it 86-79.
But Ginobili put up 10 straight points for San Antonio,
including a strong left-handed dunk over Tyronn Lue, and Barry
connected on his fourth 3-pointer to rebuild the Spurs' advantage
to 103-87 with about 3 minutes left.
"I was mad about what was going on, that we were playing bad
again" said Ginobili of his late scoring run. "I threw some power
and attacked the basket really hard."
San Antonio activated forward Linton Johnson III on Friday
to take Brown's roster spot. In his first game as a Spur, Johnson
went 0-for-1 shooting and had three rebounds. ... Many season
ticket holders at the SBC Center gave their courtside seats and
luxury suites to soldiers and Marines as part of the team's salute
to the military. ... Atlanta, the NBA's worst team at 11-57, trails
Miami by 41 games in the Southeast Division. ... Without Duncan's
inside presence, the Hawks outscored San Antonio in the paint,
48-44. ... The Spurs are now 2-5 without Duncan this season.