SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Brent Barry already had a buzz cut,
making sewing up his head that much easier for the Spurs' medical
As in nine sutures at the surface and another three stitches
below to close a deep, 2-inch gash. That's the way it went for San
Antonio and Sacramento in the teams' first meeting since the Spurs
beat the Kings in the sixth game of their first-round playoff
series in May.
"I came to Arco Arena and a hockey game broke out," Barry
Tim Duncan scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 14
rebounds and the Spurs improved their franchise-best road start to
5-0 with a physical 108-99 victory over the ineffective Kings on
"He had a pretty good whack," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said
of Barry. "Did you see it? That was long. Maybe he should get a
Barry, checked for a concussion and dizziness, wasn't the only
one beat up and bloodied. Two other players had to leave for the
locker room to get stitches.
Barry scored 11 points before going down with 22.2 seconds left
in the second quarter following a hard collision with Ronnie Price.
Both players were helped off the court and needed stitches --
Barry's on the left side above his forehead and seven for Price on
his chin. Both returned, with Barry sporting a giant bandage held
on by a headband.
"I knew right away," said Barry, who once had six or seven
stitches for a cut on his left eyebrow. "It was unfortunate we
both got hurt on the play. It's basketball. It's part of the
Sacramento's Kenny Thomas headed to the locker room 5:25 before
halftime to get two stitches on his lip after being hit in the
mouth by Duncan. Kings coach Eric Musselman thought it should have
been Duncan's third foul but nothing was called.
Ron Artest had 22 points and five rebounds, scoring seven of the
Kings' points in a 12-3 spurt to start the second quarter. But the
Kings couldn't stay with the Spurs and lost their second straight
after a four-game winning streak. San Antonio won for the sixth
time in eight games in Sacramento.
"They know how to win on the road, they know how to win at
home," Musselman said. "They've been doing it for many years."
Kevin Martin added 20 points for his fifth straight 20-point
performance and Sacramento -- in a stretch with eight of 10 games at
home including three of its next four -- had a four-game winning
streak in Arco Arena snapped.
The Kings had a tough time getting a hand in the face of the
Spurs' shooters, who made five of their first 11 3-point tries and
eight in all -- three by Barry.
"I got it going early and was able to sustain it," Duncan
Popovich spoke to star defender Bruce Bowen on Friday after the
forward was recently called and warned by Stu Jackson, the NBA's
executive vice president of basketball operations, about giving
jump shooters enough space to land -- otherwise he could face a fine
New York's Steve Francis injured his left ankle on Nov. 6 when
he came down on Bowen's foot after a made shot and Knicks coach
Isiah Thomas complained to the league about Bowen.
"I had a talk with him about just being Bruce Bowen," Popovich
said. "All that stuff is garbage, be who he is. He's the best
perimeter defender in the league."
Bowen has said he is committed to sticking with his menacing
Duncan had back-to-back layins late in the second, Ginobili sank
two free throws at 3.2 seconds and Duncan hit a 15-footer at the
buzzer to give San Antonio a 56-54 halftime edge.
"That was a big momentum switch," Duncan said. "We gave up
50-something points in the first half and still were able to be
ahead at halftime."
Sacramento's depth took another hit -- they're already without
injured center Brad Miller because of a left foot injury -- with
guard John Salmons forced to sit out with a bruised right
Musselman celebrated his 42nd birthday. He is the
fourth-youngest coach in the NBA. ... There were 11 lead changes in
the first quarter. ... After a first half filled with questionable
foul calls, the officials were booed loudly as they left with
security at halftime. ... There were two first-half technicals -- at
10:13 on Shareef Abdur-Rahim for arguing after being whistled for a
foul on Duncan and on the Spurs' Robert Horry for a defensive
violation. "I think for a second we let it (affect us),"
Abdur-Rahim said of the calls. "But you have to be mentally
tougher than that." ... The Kings had season-lows of 10 assists
and four steals.