Sports

Shorthanded Spurs still too much for Bulls

San Antonio Spurs’ Nando de Colo goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson during the second half in Chicago, February 11, 2013. — Reuters picSan Antonio Spurs’ Nando de Colo goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson during the second half in Chicago, February 11, 2013. — Reuters picCHICAGO, Feb 12 — The San Antonio Spurs took to the court without three of their top scorers to face Chicago yesterday but still had too much fire power for the Bulls, pulling out a 103-89 victory to pick up their 13th win in 14 games.

Tony Parker (knee), Tim Duncan (knee) and Manu Ginobili (hamstring) all sat out for San Antonio, who own the best record in the NBA at 41-12, but a career-best 26 points from Kawhi Leonard and 18 from Danny Green kept the Spurs machine rolling.

“All of us are basketball players here, we’re competitive,” Leonard told reporters of the Spurs, who were also without Stephen Jackson for personal reasons.

“That’s why we play the game. If we go in doubting ourselves, we’re already beat.”

San Antonio clung to a 76-75 lead in the fourth quarter before a 19-5 run closed the door on Chicago.

“One would hope you could play with anybody in our system, but it was a tough challenge tonight,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Nate Robinson scored 20 points to pace the Bulls while Joakim Noah added seven and 15 rebounds for the home team, who faded down the stretch.

The Bulls had dominated inside and outrebounded the visitors 49-26 but it did not seem to matter.

San Antonio grabbed a nine-point advantage at halftime and stretched it to 14 in the third before the Bulls closed the quarter strongly to make a game of it.

Chicago (30-21) have now lost three of four. — Reuters

Comments

Please refrain from nicknames or comments of a racist, sexist, personal, vulgar or derogatory nature, or you may risk being blocked from commenting in our website . We encourage commenters to use their real names as their username. As comments are moderated, they may not appear immediately or even on the same day you posted them. We also reserve the right to delete off-topic comments