NBA News Wire

Spurs break back into win column vs. Kings

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SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs, reeling with injuries, are spirally out of the win column in the last week.

Ready for their fortunes to change, they relied on their prime-time players.

Forward Tim Duncan had 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 95-93 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Guard Tony Parker had 18 points and 10 assists and Duncan added five assists and two blocks as San Antonio (34-13) snapped a three-game losing streak.

“It’s huge for us. It’s huge for us,” Duncan stated on getting the much needed win. “Awful losing streak for us. It’s good to finish with a win here at home. Not only that, but just to start the road trip on the right note.”

Guard Patty Mills had 15 points and forward Boris Diaw 14 for San Antonio, which played its last game at the AT&T Center before its annual “Rodeo Road Trip.”

The Spurs, who have been riddled with injuries, saw the return of starting center Tiago Splitter. He missed the last 12 games with a sprained right shoulder and had two points.

“Yeah, they’re trickling in so that’s great,” Duncan said on the return of Splitter. “Great to have bodies back out there. Great to start getting everybody healthy.”

In a surprise move, guard Shannon Brown, who signed a 10-day contract on Saturday morning, was in the Spurs’ starting lineup at small forward. Brown scored two points in 15 minutes.

Sacramento (15-32), at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and without their leading scorer, were led by guard Isaiah Thomas with 26 points.

Forwards Rudy Gay added 23 points, Derrick Williams 14 and Jason Thompson 10. Forward Quincy Acy grabbed 10 rebounds in the Kings’ seventh straight loss.

A close game from start to finish, both teams were tied 19 times and there were 19 lead changes. But San Antonio, down 10 in the third quarter, climbed back and took the definitive lead when Parker’s 3-pointer with 56 seconds left that gave San Antonio a 94-91 lead.

Down one, the Kings had one more chance to win the game, but Gay’s 15-foot jumper with a second left bounced off the rim. Parker rebounded the ball, got fouled and then connected on the first of two free throws to seal the win.

“The rim. The rim,” Gay said on what he saw on the last shot. “I mean honestly I wish I had that one back; I don’t think I miss that too many other times.”

The Kings were only able to score five points in the final four minutes of the game and were held to 15 points in the fourth quarter.

The first quarter was close until Mills hit a 3-pointer with seconds left on the clock to give the Spurs a 27-24 lead.

Sacramento bounced back behind 28 first-half points between Gay and Thomas. The Kings were up by four when Belinelli hit a 26-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer. After the referees reviewed and confirmed the shot, the Kings went into the locker room up 53-52.

“We gave ourselves a chance to beat a veteran, playoff team on their home court, the second time in a row in this building,” Kings’ coach Michael Malone said after the game. “We did a lot of very good things tonight, unfortunately we just came up a little bit short for another loss.”

NOTES: San Antonio announced the signing of G Shannon Brown to a 10-day contract on Saturday. Brown, a seven-year NBA veteran, has averaged 8.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists during his career. F Othyus Jeffers, who signed his 10-day contract with the Spurs on Jan. 24, was released. … Sacramento G Jimmer Fredette did not attend the game. He remained at the hotel in San Antonio because of an illness. He joins C DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) on the injured list. Cousins has missed six straight games. … San Antonio’s annual rodeo road trip will begin Feb. 3 and the team will return to San Antonio on Feb. 26. In between, they will play nine consecutive games away from the AT&T Center, with a break for the All-Star Game, traveling 8,989 miles during the trip. … Kings G Rudy Gay has totaled 55 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists the last two games. He had a strong return after missing the three previous games because of a strained Achilles tendon.