SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs never got rattled, even
when they fell behind by 13 points after the first quarter.
Tim Duncan had 23 points and seven rebounds to lead San Antonio
to a 103-79 victory over the winless Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday
"The team kept their composure well when we were down," Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich said. "They didn't try to come back quickly
1-on-1. They did it as a team."
Duncan bounced back from a sluggish performance in a loss to
Washington on Saturday, when he shot 3-for-18 from the field and
scored only 11 points.
Manu Ginobili had 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting for the Spurs,
who have beaten the Hawks eight straight times at home and 11 of 12
overall. Tony Parker finished with 18 points.
"The first quarter was really bad for us tonight," Ginobili
said. "We played better and more aggressively as the game went
Al Harrington led the Hawks with a season-high 23 points and
nine rebounds. He scored Atlanta's first 14 points and shot
10-for-15 in the first quarter to help the Hawks build a 31-18
lead. The Spurs struggled to find the basket and turned the ball
over five times in the first.
Harrington struggled in the second and San Antonio rallied to
tie the score 52-all at halftime. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili
combined to score 30 points, and Harrington missed both of his
shots in the quarter.
"I heard Pop say he was tired of that guy getting off, and it
was really tough to get anything 1-on-1 after that," Harrington
said. "They made some good adjustments and really took me out of
Parker and Bruce Bowen combined to limit Atlanta guard Joe
Johnson to 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, far below his 19.5
"That's why they're the champs," Johnson said. "They fought
hard. Pop made some adjustments that really slowed us down, and we
never got back in rhythm."
The Hawks, who lost to Memphis on a last-second putback
Saturday, dropped their seventh straight. Yet coach Mike Woodson
believes the team's first victory is close at hand.
"Sometimes it's like we are our own worst enemy," he said.
"We have stretches where we don't shoot. We don't defend," he
said. "When San Antonio turned up their defense, we needed to turn
up ours. If we play the way I know we can play for 48 minutes, then
we can compete."
Atlanta's Tony Delk and the Spurs' Brent Barry (low back
sprain) and Michael Finley (left groin tightness) were on the
inactive list. ... Atlanta leads the all-time series with San
Antonio 34-33. ... The Hawks have used four different starting
lineups in the first seven games of the season.