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Monday, December 21, 2009

Spurs aim to continue dominance over Clips

The San Antonio Spurs shoot for their 14th straight win over the Los Angeles Clippers when the two teams meet at the AT&T Center on Monday night.

The Spurs opened a three-game homestand on Saturday with a thrilling 100-99 win over Indiana. Tim Duncan scored 19 points, pulled down 16 rebounds, and his dunk with 4.6 seconds left in that one lifted San Antonio to the win, giving Spurs mentor Gregg Popovich his 700th career regular season win.

Tony Parker added 15 points, Keith Bogans 14 and Manu Ginobili 13 for the Spurs, who have won two straight and five of their last six games. George Hill had 12 points and Richard Jefferson 10 for the Spurs, who are now a gaudy 12-1 against teams with a .500 or lower record.

Roy Hibbert's tip-in off a T.J. Ford miss moved the Pacers to a 99-98 edge with 1:12 left, but Indiana couldn't take advantage of misses by the Spurs. Duncan was off the mark on a layup and a jumper, while Ginobili missed a three-ball, all in the same possession.

Ford missed a shot at the other end and the Spurs called timeout with 10.2 seconds left to set up a final play. Duncan got the ball in low, but the attempt was blocked by Hibbert before the All-Star cleaned up his own mess with a jam.

"I wanted to try and take it to the glass and see what happens," said Duncan. "Hibbert made a very good defensive play. It came right back to me, a little bit of luck. I'll take it."

The Clippers, meanwhile, improved to 2-1 on a six-game road trip on Saturday when Philadelphia native Rasual Butler netted seven of his 18 points in overtime, as the Clippers survived a near buzzer-beater in regulation to beat the 76ers, 112-107.

With the score tied, 99-99, the Sixers' Andre Iguodala had his shot from the top of the key waived off after instant replay revealed the ball was still on his fingertips as the time expired.

"I think that it did have something to do with it. We are only human," Sixers head coach Eddie Jordan said, referring to the Sixers' lackadaisical effort in OT after thinking they had the win. "[LA] had a little juice from the defensive side."

Chris Kaman logged 24 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in regulation, while Baron Davis chipped in 20 points and 13 assists for Los Angeles, which has won three of its last four.

LA hasn't beaten San Antonio since a 98-85 win on March 7, 2006 in Hollywood. To make things a little more symmetrical the Clips are also sporting a 13-game skid in San Antonio and haven't won in the Alamo City since a 91-87 triumph on Jan. 31, 2002.

Overall, San Antonio has absolutely dominated the series, winning 41 of the last 45 matchups between the two clubs.


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