San Antonio, TX – Tim Duncan filled the stat sheet with 31 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 99-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
"Yeah, I have my shot back now. It feels good. It helps that it's going in too. I feel good all around," Duncan said.
Kawhi Leonard added 23 points for the Spurs, who moved a half-game ahead of the idle Thunder for first place in the Western Conference. San Antonio bounced back from a 100-88 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday.
The Spurs, who clinched the Southwest Division title for the third consecutive year, played without guard Tony Parker due to a sore neck.
John Jenkins and Mike Scott ended with 23 and 22 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who have lost three in a row and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference. Johan Petro had a double-double with 11 points and 15 boards.
Atlanta has lost 15 straight against the Spurs in San Antonio.
"That is a match up isn't it? Ivan (Johnson) is a guy that gives up a lot inches wise but Ivan is a competitor. He is going to take a challenge whoever he guards. He was up pressuring but Tim is still Tim. Tim's still good. He's as good as they are in the low post," Hawks coach Larry Drew said on Johnson guarding Duncan.
The Spurs led for a majority of the first quarter and held a 21-20 edge after 12 minutes of action.
Holding a 37-34 lead with 4:16 left in the half, the Spurs went on a 12-2 run to create some distance. Duncan tallied eight points during the surge to give the home team a 49-36 advantage. It was a 51-40 game at the break.
Atlanta scored the first eight points of the second half to pull within three, 51-48. The Spurs, however, put together a 13-3 run moments later to create some breathing room. Duncan's 3-point play gave the home team a 67-54 edge with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks stayed within striking distance and scored the final five points of the third frame, cutting the gap to 73-69.
San Antonio held at least a four-point lead until the final seconds. Dahntay Jones' jumper with 8.6 seconds remaining cut the gap to four, 99-95. Tiago Splitter followed with a turnover and Jones went to the foul line with one second left. He made the first two shots before intentionally missing the third, but Leonard grabbed the defensive rebound.
San Antonio has won five straight against the Hawks ... The Spurs are 34-5 at home this season ... DeJuan Blair had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs ... Johnson and Shelvin Mack ended with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Hawks ... San Antonio's Boris Diaw left midway through the second quarter with back spasms ... Since joining the NBA in 1976-77, San Antonio has won 19 division titles which is the most of any team during that time period.