SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs ruined Mike Bibby's return and the spotless home record of the Sacramento Kings.
Duncan had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in another terrific all-around performance and the Spurs shut down the Kings and dealt them their first home loss of the season, 83-81.
"In a building like this, if you can keep them close, like we did all night, it does help you because this is a fantastic place to play and you really hear it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Spurs arrived having lost four of their last five road games and were facing one of the NBA's two remaining teams unbeaten at home. The Kings also received an emotional boost from the return of Bibby, their floor general who missed the first 27 games while recovering from a broken foot.
Bibby was sharp, scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Despite his presence, the Kings shot under 35 percent (34-of-98), were held to their second-lowest total of the season and lost for the first time in 14 games at Arco Arena.
"I kept telling them, `Don't lose this game,' but that's how it goes," Bibby said. "That's why we play so many games."
As he often is, Duncan was the game's pivotal player. He took a two-minute breather during the fourth quarter, and the Spurs watched a 70-63 lead turn into a one-point deficit. Upon his return, San Antonio put together a decisive 7-0 run.
"We are up seven with seven minutes left and then six minutes come and we are down one," Duncan said. "Those guys can throw it up real quick. I thought we did a great job sticking with it. We found a way to score some points."
Over the last four games, the 2002 NBA MVP is averaging 24.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
The Spurs also got a big boost from Stephen Jackson, who had 18 points and eight rebounds. He had a key steal and the clinching free throws in the final seconds.
Chris Webber had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Bobby Jackson scored 21 points for the Kings, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"We usually control the pace; that's our fault," Webber said. "They came in here wanting to revenge because we beat them in their place. You could tell that they were ready for it. We no longer sneak under the radar. Teams are coming for us."
"We really didn't get anything going except from Bobby, Mike and Webb during stretches," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "Besides that, it just seemed like we couldn't get anything to go down."
Baskets by Steve Smith and Duncan opened the final period and gave the Spurs a 68-61 lead. After Duncan took a seat, Bobby Jackson made a 3-pointer and Bibby drilled a jumper and 3-pointer to give the Kings a 71-70 lead with 6:23 to go.
"When the Kings made a couple of threes, it reminded me of how loud this place is," San Antonio's David Robinson said. "It gets rocking."
Duncan returned, and Tony Parker had a reverse layup and two free throws. Off a high pick-and-roll, Duncan threw a lob pass to Robinson, who hammered it home with one hand for a 76-71 lead with 3:35 left.
That was San Antonio's last basket, but Stephen Jackson preserved the lead. He made three free throws to offset a three-point play by Webber. Bobby Jackson sank a 3-pointer, but Duncan blocked a layup by Vlade Divac and made two foul shots at the other end, leaving the Spurs with an 81-77 advantage with 1:13 remaining.
Webber split a pair from the line, and the Kings got back the ball with a chance to tie. Bobby Jackson drove underneath and tried to pass it to the arc, but Stephen Jackson deflected the pass and grabbed it. He was fouled with 10.1 seconds to play and sank both free throws to seal it.
Smith scored 11 points, Parker added nine and Robinson eight with 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Spurs, who shot 41 percent (31-of-75), including 1-of-11 from the arc. Bruce Bowen did not score in 36 minutes but harassed Kings All-Star forward Peja Stojakovic into 2-of-10 shooting.
"Bruce Bowen did a great job on Stojakovic," Stephen Jackson said. "That is one of their scorers and we were able to limit him to a bad scoring night."
Duncan already had his 17th double-double by halftime, collecting 15 points and 12 rebounds to help San Antonio to a 44-39 lead. His jumper pushed the lead to 55-46 with 6:49 left in the third quarter before Bibby's 3-pointer started an 11-2 run that tied it.