Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Game 2: Monday, January 5th

Spurs 91

(23-11, 10-5 away)

Heat 84

(18-15, 12-6 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:30 PM ET, January 5, 2009

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 21 18 26 2691
    MIA 15 24 21 2484

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

    Mia: D. Wade 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 12 Ast, 4 Stl

    Duncan-led Spurs win for 14th time in last 17 games

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- The circus comes to Miami this week, so it seemed appropriate for the Heat to force the San Antonio Spurs into walking the proverbial tightrope.

    For the surging Southwest Division leaders, it wasn't a problem.

    Tim Duncan scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Spurs trailed for only one possession in a nip-and-tuck 91-84 win over the Heat on Monday night, San Antonio's 14th victory in its last 17 games.

    Fast Facts

    • The Spurs have now won eight of their last nine games overall and six of their last eight contests with the Heat.

    • Miami fell to 3-12 in its last 15 games against San Antonio.

    • The Heat are now 1-9 this season when scoring less than 90 points.

    -- ESPN research

    "These guys have been there before," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They're a seasoned, veteran team that's played in a lot of big games. You could tell how much poise they have out there. They're totally calm in these type of situations. They've experienced it so many different times."

    George Hill scored 15 points on 4-for-4 shooting for the Spurs, who got 11 points from both Roger Mason and Matt Bonner and 10 from Manu Ginobili.

    Dwyane Wade had 24 points and 12 assists -- his eighth double-double of the season -- for the Heat, who also got 15 points from Shawn Marion. Michael Beasley had his first double-double, 15 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, which starts a seven-game, 13-day, 7,461-mile road trip in Denver on Wednesday night.

    "They're a talented group," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Either team could have won the game. They're trying to play together with a couple of rookies and that always takes time. It doesn't come quickly."

    Ginobili sealed it with, well, a circus play with 1:33 remaining.

    Miami trailed 84-81 when Wade drove to the rim from the right wing, with Tony Parker getting in front to deter his progress a bit. Wade leaped for a layup -- but Ginobili, who isn't exactly known for high-flying exploits -- swatted it away, setting up a game-clinching jumper by Mason at the other end.

    "Play of the game," Spoelstra said.

    "He's an athletic guy and it was a great block," Wade said.

    The Spurs ran out to a quick 10-point lead and shot 59 percent in the fourth quarter to hold off the Heat, who kept coming back and coming back and coming back -- only to have every rally thwarted.

    The Heat were down 21-11 early, then closed the gap to a single point on three occasions in the second quarter.

    Each of those times, San Antonio had an answer: a 3-pointer by Hill, jumper by Michael Finley, 3-pointer by Bonner, and that quickly became a trend for the evening.

    "That's what they do," Marion said.

    Marion got the final two baskets of the first half, including a nifty dunk off an assist from Mario Chalmers with 2.9 seconds left, knotting the game at 39 at the break. With 2:46 left in the third, Marion struck again, tipping in Jamaal Magloire's miss for a 56-55 lead -- Miami's first of the night.

    It only lasted 31 seconds. Hill connected for a 3-pointer on San Antonio's next possession, putting the Spurs back on top.

    "They hit some big shots when they needed to," Marion said. "It was just a good effort. Just a couple miscues here and there."

    One more time, for good measure: Tied at 68, Hill drove on Chris Quinn, got fouled and made the layup to start a three-point play with 9:20 remaining. It started a 7-0 run by the Spurs, who never trailed again.

    "We managed to find a way tonight," Duncan said. "Manu makes that [block] and we go down the other end and turn a one-point game into a five-point game. That's the way it went."

    Game notes

    Heat guard Daequan Cook, the NBA's fifth-best 3-point shooter over the last month at 53.4 percent, played only 5 minutes after bruising his left knee. X-rays were negative, but he went out with 9:46 left in the second quarter and did not return. ... Spurs C Fabricio Oberto (foot) sat out again, his ninth missed game out of San Antonio's last 10. ... More than a few fans wore Argentina's national soccer jersey and waved that nation's flag, a nod to Ginobili, a hugely popular star in his native country.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 84
    FGM-FGA 35-75 (.467) 36-81 (.444)
    3PM-3PA 10-22 (.455) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 11-15 (.733) 6-8 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-41 7-40
    Assists 19 24
    Turnovers 12 12
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 6 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 10 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 1

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 24
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0