Notes on a scorecard: Manu, TP, Tiago are ready with TD missing

It could have been a disaster waiting to happen.

When the Spurs lost Tim Duncan with 7:47 left in the first quarter Monday night, Gregg Popovich and his team immediately feared the worse. The sight of the Spurs’ captain writhing in pain on the floor had a sobering effect on the team.

“It’s not flowers and lollipops,” Popovich said when asked what he was thinking at the time.

But despite the shock of losing Duncan the Spurs rebounded to charge to their third straight victory in an impressive 111-96 victory over Golden State.

His replacement Tiago Splitter came up with the first double-double of his career, notching 10 points and 14 rebounds in 26:34 of action.

Manu Ginobili erupted for 28 points in one of his top scoring games of the season.

And Tony Parker provided 17 points and 15 assists to match his career high, set Dec. 8, 2006, against the Los Angeles Clippers.

When their captain was missing, the rest of the Spurs picked up his slack in the victory.

Here’s a look at a few notes and tidbits from the triumph, which provided a burst of confidence  heading into a tough three-game road trip  with three potential playoff foes awaiting over the next six nights.

  • Duncan appeared well on his way to a big night with four points and three rebounds in 4:13 of action before the injury. It notched the second-shortest playing stint in Duncan’s career, topped only by a 2-minute effort against Detroit on March 20, 2005. It snapped a streak of five straight games in double figures, punctuated by his 22-point effort against Dallas on Friday night.
  • Ginobili was the team’s high scorer with 28 points. It marked his high game since erupting for a season-high 35 points against Memphis on Feb. 27 and tied for his third-highest scoring game of the season. Ginobili sank four 3-pointers to tie for his biggest night since Jan. 29 against Houston. He also provided three steals, three rebounds and three assists. And after struggling to find his shooting touch since the All-Star break, Ginobili’s 9-for-18 night from the field marked the fourth time in seven games he’s hit at least 50 percent.
  • Parker had a big night running the offense with 17 points and 15 assists. He committed only three turnovers. It marked his ninth double-double this season. And when Parker has at least seven assists this season, the Spurs are 33-0. And it marked the sixth time in his career that he has notched at least 14 points and 14 assists in the same game. Parker is averaging 19.7 points and 6.9 assists over his last nine games.
  • After struggling to get to the foul line in recent games, Richard Jefferson hit 6-for-6 from the line to fuel a 12- point scoring night. It marked his most foul shots made since Nov. 24 against Minnesota and tied for third this season. It was Jefferson’s highest scoring game since notching 12 points against Detroit on March 9.
  • Antonio McDyess scored four points and grabbed nine rebounds, tying for seventh on his highest rebounding games. Since joining the starting lineup, McDyess is averaging 6.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. The Spurs are 6-1 in those games.
  • Steve Novak has his second straight strong shooting game with 13 points on 5-for-6 from the field with 3-for-4 behind the 3-point arc.  His 32 points in his last two games is his biggest scoring binge since scoring 33 points in two games with the Los Angeles Clippers on March 17-18, 2009. Over the last three games, he’s hitting 70.6 percent from the field. And over the last 12 games, he’s hitting 64.0 percent of his 3-point attempts.
  • Splitter’s first career double-double also came in the first game he’s notched at least 10 rebounds. Splitter is averaging 9.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last two games. He’s hitting 63.4 percent from the field in his last 11 gqames. His three steals against Golden State was a career high and matched his total in his last five games combined.
  • George Hill shot his way out of a recent shooting slump, hitting 3-for-5 from the field after hitting 26.1 percent from the field in his last three games.
  • Gary Neal’s shooting slump returned as he hit 3-for-10 from the field after a 15-point night against Charlotte on Saturday. Neal is hitting 33.3 percent from the field and 35 percent from the 3-point arc. After a 10-game streak of  double-figure scoring games that stretched through March 9, Neal has scored double figures in two of his last six games.
  • Matt Bonner got a pair of 3-pointers in a game for the second straight game, but continued to struggle with his shot. Since Duncan’s infamous “It’s Over” pronouncement during Bonner’s 6-for-7 shooting effort against Miami on March 4, Bonner is hitting 22.2 percent of his 3-pointers and averaging 4.5 points per game. His league-leading 3-point percentage has been reduced from 51.2 percent to 48.4 percent during that period.
  • James Anderson scored a field goal on his only shot in 1:02. He’s hit his last three shots over his last two games.
  • Danny Green played his second straight game, failing to produce any statistics in 1:o2.
  • Chris Quinn and DeJuan Blair (sprained wrist) were the Spurs’ inactives for the game.
  • Parker led the team with a plus-minus score of plus-24. Jefferson was plus-23. Bonner and McDyess were both plus-17. Ginobili was plus-11. Neal had the team’s lowest score at minus-15. Splitter was minus-7.
  • Golden State never led in the game. It marked the Spurs’ ninth wire-to-wire victory of the season. And after the blowout loss at Miami last week, the Spurs have played ahead for almost all of their last three games. They have never trailed in any of the games since opponents took a quick 2-0 lead in games against Dallas and Charlotte.
  • The Spurs limited Golden State to 45.2 percent shooting from the field. It was their best effort since limiting Detroit to 45.2 percent six games ago on March 9.
  • Even without Duncan, the Spurs had a 48-34 edge in points in the paint against Golden State. It was their biggest edge in points in the paint since a 30-point margin in their victory over Miami.
  • The Spurs produced only four second-chance points for the game and one offensive rebound in the first half.
  • The Spurs’ victory on Monday extended their winning streak over Golden State to 26 games. The Warriors’ last victory in San Antonio came on Feb. 14, 1997. Golden State has never beaten a team with Duncan in San Antonio.
  • Without Duncan in the lineup for most of the last two games, the Spurs have been more perimeter-oriented than any other time this season. They attempted a season-high 34  3-pointers against Charlotte Saturday night and tried 32 – tied for second-most this season — in the Golden State game two nights later.
  • The Spurs’ ball movement has been strong over the last two games as they have notched 60 assists and produced two of their top 10 efforts for assists in the season. It also matches their best two-game total of the season, set Dec. 5 and 8.
  • The Spurs tied their season low with 11 personal fouls, set Nov. 17 against Chicago.

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