Published April 19, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal scored 17 points each, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 127-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.
Using their reserves extensively all game, the Spurs beat the Kings in Sacramento for an eighth straight time and remained a half-game in front of Oklahoma City for the top seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder won at Phoenix on Wednesday night.
San Antonio, playing its third game in three nights, won decisively without veteran center Tim Duncan, who was given the night off to rest. The Spurs were coming off two 21-point victories at Golden State and the Lakers the previous two days.
Tony Parker had 15 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who stretched the lead to more than 20 points early in the fourth quarter. Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili all had 13 points, and Danny Green scored 11.
Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and eight assists for the Kings, who have dropped eight of nine games. Marcus Thornton scored 20 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and nine rebounds, but fouled out with just under 8 minutes left in the game.
Ahead by 11 points after three quarters, the Spurs continued to shoot well to open the fourth. They started the quarter with an 11-3 run, which ended with a three-point play by Splitter to put San Antonio ahead 108-89 with 8:47 left.
The Kings' owners, the Maloof family, announced at last week's NBA owners meetings that they were backing out of a proposed downtown arena plan in Sacramento, which has put the franchise's future beyond next season in doubt.
The Kings, who will miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season, have as many problems off the court as on it. Sacramento has dropped 13 of 16 games since March 20 and has the second-worst record behind New Orleans in the Western Conference.
Leonard scored nine points in the third quarter when the Spurs shot over 63 percent and outscored the Kings 39-29, taking an 11-point lead heading to the fourth.
Ahead by one point at the half, the Spurs opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run. Scoreless in the first half, Leonard had back-to-back baskets, the second one a twisting, fast-break layup that put San Antonio ahead 70-61 at the 8:13 mark.
NOTES: Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, plus their mother, were seated courtside. During the recent arena controversy, the Maloofs have been absent from their typical courtside location. . Parker scored 10 points and the Spurs' reserves combined for 30 points in the opening half when the Blazers led 58-57. ...Thornton had a great first quarter, making 6 of 7 shots and scoring 14 points. But the streaky Thornton didn't score again until getting three straights baskets during a 55-second period in the third quarter. . The Spurs have won 9 of 11 road games and have five games left in the regular season.