May 11, 2005 in Sports

Spurs drub Sonics again

Jaime Aron Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Sonics’ Jerome James, right, fouls Spurs’ Manu Ginobili.
(Full-size photo)

SAN ANTONIO – Manu Ginobili is certainly good enough to start for the San Antonio Spurs. It’s just that when he comes off the bench, he makes his club better.

Using his usual array of layups and long jumpers, the suave Argentine pepped up the San Antonio offense as soon as he stepped on the court Tuesday night. Ginobili ended up making 9 of 11 shots and scoring 28 points, leading the Spurs to a 108-91 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night for a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.

“I don’t really know what he does,” said San Antonio center Tim Duncan, who was his usual steady self with 25 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. “He just kind of puts his head down and goes and we pray for the best.”

Ginobili’s head was up when Duncan spoke. He laughed and shouted, “That’s so unfair.”

The Spurs should be enjoying themselves since they’ve won six straight this postseason, with the victories coming by an average of 16 points. Their roll began after following a stunning home loss to Denver in the playoff opener and coach Gregg Popovich making one major change – starting Brent Barry and using Ginobili as a super sub.

“It was a pretty good move,” said Seattle coach Nate McMillan. “Manu is capable of creating his own offense and when Tim is sitting it gives (Ginobili) an opportunity to play with the ball. He provides scoring with that second unit and you get more balance with him coming off the bench.”

Seattle’s Ray Allen shook off a sprained ankle that knocked him out of the opener and scored 25 points in 42 minutes. Rashard Lewis scored 22. The Sonics even had a stretch of 22 points scored by that duo.

Problem was, Allen missed five of his first seven shots and Lewis started 0 for 6.

Lewis later made five straight and Allen scored 12 points in the third quarter, but by then it was too late.

Any chance of a fourth-quarter rally was doused by Allen taking just two shots, both 3-pointers, with neither going in.

“There were just a lot of breaks in this game and it seemed like none of them went our way,” said Allen, who was booed throughout because of his off-day cries about San Antonio defensive whiz Bruce Bowen being a dirty player.

“By no means is this team coming apart. We’ve been one unit all year long and that is why we are here. This team has always handled losing well and has always responded. We just have to go home now and give our fans a show.”

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