Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Friday, December 17th
Game 2: Saturday, January 29th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 16th
Game 4: Monday, March 14th

Spurs 83

(19-5, 9-4 away)

Hornets 67

(2-20, 1-10 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2004

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 16 28 18 2183
    NO 21 17 16 1367

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    NO: P. Brown 16 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Duncan's 19 and 12 lead balanced attack

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Robert Horry and rookie Beno Udrih gave the San Antonio Spurs the push they needed to beat the New Orleans Hornets.

    Tim Duncan led the Spurs to an 83-69 win Friday night with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but it was reserves Horry and Udrih who came through when the game was close.

    After the Hornets pulled within one point late in the third quarter, Horry and Udrih fueled an 18-6 run that sent the Spurs on their way to their third straight win and 11th in 13 games.

    "We had to find some guys who could play with a little bit more aggression and who were competing harder," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

    Udrih scored 12 points in 18 minutes on a combination of drives and jumpers, while Horry hit three 3-pointers during a key run in the second half, helping San Antonio extend its lead to double figures.

    San Antonio's ability to win with its depth stood in stark contrast to the Hornets, who have five players on the injured list, including former All-Stars Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire and Jamal Mashburn, who is expected to be out for the season.

    "In games like this, where a team is depleted with injuries, they come out with nothing to lose and they play extremely well," Horry said. "They came out in the first quarter and we just had to weather the storm."

    Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker each added 10 points for the Spurs.

    Lee Nailon, who missed five games due to a strained groin, scored 22 points for New Orleans, while P.J. Brown added 16 points and 10 rebounds. David Wesley finished with 10 points for the Hornets, who managed just one field goal in the final 8½ minutes.

    The Spurs shot only marginally better than New Orleans and went 14-for-27 from the line. San Antonio outrebounded the Hornets 45-34. New Orleans shot 9-for-11 from the line.

    "It wasn't a great night for anybody. Shots weren't falling, but we kind of stuck with it, got some big shots from Rob and some big plays from those guys off the bench," Duncan said. "We just kind of ground it out for the 48 minutes."

    The Spurs (19-5) now have their second-best start through 24 games, but Popovich was stingy with his compliments.

    "We had a lot of guys back this season," he said. "Our defense is pretty good; our offense needs a lot of work."

    New Orleans was within 53-52 late in the third quarter after a 10-2 run that started and ended with jumpers by Nailon. The Hornets had a chance to take the lead on their next possession, but Dan Dickau forced up a quick 3-pointer that missed.

    Malik Rose then scored inside to start a 9-0 for the Spurs that included Horry's first 3-pointer. Horry's second 3 capped a 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter, giving San Antonio a 71-58 lead.

    New Orleans got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

    San Antonio has "a good team out there -- pretty healthy, pretty solid," Wesley said. "This is hard for us. We played good quarters ... San Antonio gives you a steady diet of what they do and they do it well."

    The Hornets, who led 23-16 early in the second quarter, had only one field goal in the last three minutes of the period -- a 14-footer by Nailon. San Antonio used baskets by Duncan, Parker and Ginobili to take a 44-38 halftime lead.

    Game notes

    The Spurs have had the same starting lineup in all 24 games, while the injury-riddled Hornets have used eight starting lineups in 22 games. ... San Antonio had 16 offensive rebounds, leading to 14 second-chance points. ... The Hornets failed to make a 3-pointer (0-for-7) for the first time this season. ... Dickau hit a jumper at the first quarter buzzer, marking his third last-second shot in five quarters.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 67
    FGM-FGA 32-75 (.427) 29-76 (.382)
    3PM-3PA 5-17 (.294) 0-7 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 14-27 (.519) 9-11 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-45 13-34
    Assists 24 16
    Turnovers 10 13
    Steals 7 2
    Blocks 6 2
    Fast Break Points 7 0
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 16 7

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    New Orleans
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 19
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    P.J. Brown Brown
    Points: 16
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1