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Spurs hold off slumping Warriors for sixth straight win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- For most of the second half, Tim Duncan
appeared to be shut down by Troy Murphy. As it turned out, Duncan
simply was waiting until the last possible minute to put the San
Antonio Spurs on his shoulders.

Tony Parker scored 23 points and Duncan shook off a terrible
game to score the Spurs' final five points in their sixth straight
victory, 89-86 over the slumping Golden State Warriors on Thursday
night.

Duncan managed just 16 points and 11 rebounds under tight
defense from Murphy, but the All-Star game starter emerged from a
15-minute personal scoring drought just in time to secure San
Antonio's 28th victory in 32 meetings with Golden State.

That was no surprise to his teammates, who were rewarded with a
rare weekend off from coach Gregg Popovich after six straight road
victories.

"He played great in the last two minutes," Parker said of
Duncan, who has struggled with a foot injury for much of the year.
"I'm predicting 50 points by Timmy in the next game. After the
rest, he's going to be on fire."

Duncan got a good start on that burst in the final 2:27 against
Golden State. He also forced a key turnover in the final minutes by
the Warriors, who lost for the sixth time in seven games despite
plenty of chances to steal a win from the defending NBA champions.

"It's great to get these types of wins, because we haven't
played well this season, but we've found a way to win, just like
this," Duncan said.

Murphy scored 22 points and mostly shut down Duncan, who went
6-of-16 and didn't even take a shot for more than 16 minutes in the
second half. Baron Davis scored 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting, but
didn't take the Warriors' final shots after getting staggered by an
inadvertent elbow from teammate Andris Biedrins in the final
minute.

Jason Richardson sat out again with a sore back, leaving the
Warriors without their leading scorer for the fourth straight game.
The final minutes were fraught with the poor execution and bad
decisions that have catalyzed their slump.

"It hurts, especially because I felt like we're playing better
down the stretch," Davis said. "It's disappointing. We're
gettting there, and we're learning. We've just got to keep
ourselves in the game, and then we have to close it out."

Manu Ginobili scored 18 points for the Spurs, who went ahead
85-84 on Duncan's free throw with 2:27 to play. Duncan hit a jumper
in traffic on the next possession, but Golden State got within a
point on Derek Fisher's long jumper with his foot on the 3-point
line with 34 seconds left.

Duncan then missed a jumper but got his own rebound while
getting fouled, and he hit two free throws with 10.2 seconds left.
Fisher and Mickael Pietrus missed potential tying 3-pointers in the
final seconds.

With seven games left before the All-Star break, the Warriors
know they're running out of time to stay in the playoff race.

"We've said this a bunch this season ... but we really played
the game well and came up a rebound or two short," said Mike
Dunleavy, who had 13 points and seven rebounds. "If we can move on
from this and build, then it's a good thing."

Rasho Nesterovic had 12 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio
in the third stop of an eight-game road trip required by the annual
rodeo going on at the AT&T Center. But the Spurs got a
mini-vacation from Popovich before their next game Wednesday in
Toronto, allowing Parker to head away from Oakland with TV-star
girlfriend Eva Longoria for a weekend off.

"We're still searching, still trying to get to the level we
were at last year," Popovich said. "We're not there yet, but
they're finding ways to win games."

Both clubs also played in other cities on Wednesday night, and
they traded the lead throughout a tight second half. San Antonio
went ahead on Ginobili's three-point play early in the fourth
quarter, but the Warriors tied it at 84 on Murphy's jumper with
3:20 to play.

Game notes
Former Warriors center Manute Bol got a standing ovation
when he appeared near the tunnel to the locker room with Chris
Mullin during the second quarter. The 7-foot-7 Bol played 10 NBA
seasons with four teams. ... Spurs G Nick Van Exel missed his third
straight game with a sore left elbow. ... Golden State C Adonal
Foyle left the game in the third quarter with a bloody nose.