Duncan's 34 leads Spurs past Clippers, 104-102
- Associated Press
- March 29, 2013 - 10:33 PM
SAN ANTONIO - Tim Duncan had a season-high 34 points, including a game-winning three-point play with 2.2 seconds left, and the San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Los Angeles Clippers 104-102 on Friday night.
Duncan also had 11 rebounds for San Antonio (55-17), which won its seventh straight at home. Tony Parker added 24 points and eight assists and Tiago Splitter had 14 points.
Blake Griffin had 18 points, Jamal Crawford added 16, Chris Paul had 14, Caron Butler 11 and Willie Green had 10 for Los Angeles.
The Spurs extended their lead in the Western Conference to 2 1/2 games over Oklahoma City, which lost 101-93 to Minnesota.
With San Antonio trailing 102-101 with 7 seconds remaining, Duncan was fouled by Willie Green on a 16-foot jumper. His ensuing free throw gave San Antonio the final winning margin.
Paul missed a seven-foot jumper that would have won the game.
Crawford's 3 tied the game at 99. Griffin blocked a short jumper by Tiago Splitter, resulting in a 3-foot floater by Paul with 35.2 seconds left.
Duncan's layup tied the game at 101 off an assist from Parker, who was momentarily dazed when he was struck by DeAndre Jordan's knee as he released the ball.
Parker was charged with a dead ball foul when he grabbed Paul's jersey prior to the inbounds. Paul made the free throw to give the Clippers a 102-101 lead to set up Duncan's shot.
Emotions got heated midway through the second quarter when Duncan received a two-handed push from Ryan Hollins as he drove to the basket for a one-handed dunk. The Spurs' All-Star forward hung on the rim briefly to steady himself on the personal foul, but no flagrant was called as the fans howled in protest.
No foul was called when Duncan tumbled to the floor on San Antonio's ensuing possession after three defenders charged at him. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ran down the sideline grabbing his arm and yelling for a foul as Los Angeles sprinted up the court on the turnover, resulting in a technical.
The action sparked Duncan, who scored San Antonio's next 10 points to tie the game at 57 with 1:35 left in the first half.
San Antonio closed the third on a 6-2 run for an 85-79 lead, fouling Jordan immediately off the inbounds to force the Clippers center to the line. Jordan missed all four free throws before Los Angeles could take him out of the game.
NOTES: Spurs G Manu Ginobili left midway through the first quarter with tightness in his right hamstring after tumbling out of bounds on a drive. Ginobili had two points on a pair of free throws in 3 minutes before departing. . Clippers G Chauncey Billups (strained right groin) missed his third straight game. He has missed 52 overall, including 35 with tendinitis in his left foot. Los Angeles is 35-17 without Billups. . Jordan smiled at Popovich before entering the game with 1 minute left in the first half, apparently knowing what the Spurs' coach had planned. Jordan was fouled as soon as he entered, making 1 of 2 free throws. . Video highlighting Vinny Del Negro's career with the Spurs was booed by the home crowd. Del Negro spent six seasons in San Antonio beginning in 1992.
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