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Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2003 12:42 AM EST
NBA RECAP
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San Antonio 105, Memphis 87
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
San Antonio Spurs
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MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Memphis Grizzlies
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MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan collected 33 points and 19 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs ran their winning streak to seven games with a 105-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Duncan's 28th double-double in his last 34 games helped the Spurs pull within 1 1/2 games of first-place Dallas in the Midwest Division and the top seed in the Western Conference. It also helped them extend their road winning streak over the Grizzlies to 13.

"We played a real good game in the second half," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "It doesn't matter who we play or what the circumstances are, it's always an important win. Everybody wants to win their games at the end of the year. Whether we're trying to get on a roll for the playoffs, there's always a reason."

Duncan has lost just once to the Grizzlies since entering the league in 1997. The Spurs have not had a road loss to the Grizzlies since November 24, 1996, when Duncan was a senior at Wake Forest and San Antonio was in the midst of a 20-62 finish, which led to them selecting Duncan with the first pick in the 1997 draft.

Duncan made 13-of-16 shots and led a dominant effort by San Antonio's frontcourt. The unit accounted for all 11 Spurs' baskets in the first quarter, their first 18 points and outscored Memphis in the paint, 50-38.

"We didn't notice that," said Duncan about the Spurs' frontcourt. "But if we could get them from there, more power to us. That's what we want to do."

Unlike their last trip to Memphis, when the Spurs needed Duncan's fallaway jumper at the overtime buzzer to post a 103-101 victory, they put this one away midway through the third quarter with a 13-4 run that opened a 73-54 lead with 4:28 remaining.

San Antonio took an 83-67 advantage into the fourth quarter and built it to 93-73 with six minutes remaining en route to its 36th win in 43 games since January 1.

In the fourth, Duncan scored just one basket and did not play the final 9:27 as his teammates put away the Grizzlies. The Spurs were leading, 86-69, when Kevin Willis came in for Duncan. They never let the cushion slip below 14 points thereafter.

"He only played 34 minutes and he ended up with 30-something and 19 boards," Popovich said. "That's been the story over the last 20 or 30 games. We've taken him out in fourth quarters and I think that's better than leaving him out there to get his numbers. He's somebody that's pretty important to us."

Duncan also kept Pau Gasol in check. Gasol finished with just five points in 23 minutes before fouling out as Memphis suffered its fifth straight defeat and fell to 4-27 all-time against San Antonio.

"I just tried to be physical with him because he's got a great touch and he's played well against us all year long," Duncan said. "You try to make him uncomfortable and challenge his shots."

"We went to Pau a lot and he caught the ball a lot of time," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "Unfortunately, he did not have a good game because of the foul problems."

Duncan also received help from his teammates. Malik Rose scored 10 of his 18 points from the foul line, Tony Parker added 10 of his 16 in the third quarter and David Robinson grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the Spurs to a 49-35 advantage on the glass.

"Tonight they just whipped us and their strength dominated our strength," Brown said. "The team is very quietly going about their business."

Lorenzen Wright led the Grizzlies with 24 points, but Mike Miller was limited to seven and Jason Williams scored just five.

Duncan had 20 points at in the first half. He scored 10 straight San Antonio points as it closed the half on a 15-7 run and took a 49-40 lead into the locker room.

Duncan added nine more points early in the second half as the Spurs opened a 67-52 cushion with 6:46 remaining.


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