SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The San Antonio Spurs are winning methodically the way they always seem to do this time of year, even when they’re far from their offensive best.
The Spurs moved their longest winning streak in three seasons to 12 on Friday, as guard Marco Belinelli scored 17 points and guard Kawhi Leonard scored 15 in a 99-79 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
San Antonio prevailed despite shooting just 39 percent from the field, its worst mark during the streak. But despite the cold touch, six Spurs players scored in double figures, and San Antonio (52-16) stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder in the race for the best record in the NBA and Western Conference, respectively.
The Spurs last won a dozen straight from Nov. 1-24, 2010. They pulled away from Sacramento gradually, using a 13-5 run to end the first half with a 57-47 lead and never letting the Kings get closer than five points in the second half.
Sacramento (24-45) shot just 42 percent from the floor and was denied in its bid to win its third straight at home for the first time this season. The Kings were held to only 14 points in the second quarter.
Guard Isaiah Thomas, who totaled 53 points in his team’s first two games against San Antonio this season, finished with a team-high 18 points for Sacramento.
Center DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings, his ninth double-double in the team’s past 10 games and his 43rd this season. Forward Rudy Gay added 14 points, and forward Travis Outlaw came off the bench to contribute 13.
The Kings have lost nine straight to San Antonio, including 11 in a row at home.
Guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each scored 14 points for the Spurs, and center Tony Splitter scored all 11 of his points in the first half. San Antonio is 12-0 this season when Splitter scores in double-digits.
Forward Tim Duncan had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs.
The Kings were close to ending San Antonio’s domination in the first two games against them this season. San Antonio used a 13-2 run in the final 3:20 to prevail 112-104 at home on Dec. 20 and rallied from 10 points down in the third quarter in a 95-93 win at home on Feb. 1.
This time, Sacramento never led by more than two points. The Kings trailed by that margin before the Spurs used the 13-5 run to take the 10-point advantage into halftime. Thomas’ 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third was waved off, preventing the Kings from being within nine. They gave up the first basket of the second half and were never closer than 12 in the final period.
NOTES: The Spurs have won at least 50 games in 15 straight seasons, an ongoing NBA record. They have been the first team to 50 wins the past four seasons. … Kings F Carl Landry underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery. He’s expected to be ready for the start of the 2014-15 season. … Kings G Quincy Acy was inactive with a sprained right ankle. In his place, F Royce White was in uniform for the Kings. White, a rookie out of Iowa State, was the 16th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2012 NBA draft but never played a game and was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. He signed a second 10-day contract with Sacramento on Tuesday and was recalled from the Reno Bighorns of the Development League. … Spurs F Tim Duncan, G Manu Ginobili and G Tony Parker played their 667th game as teammates, the third most among a trio in NBA history. Next on the list: The Detroit Pistons’ trio of G Isiah Thomas, C Bill Laimbeer and G Vinnie Johnson with 711. … San Antonio was 29-3 in its previous 32 against the Sacramento.
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