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NEW YORK – Danny Green had 24 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs pounded the New York Knicks 120-89 on Sunday for their fourth straight victory.
Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points and Tony Parker had 17 in a game that was close for about 3 minutes. San Antonio scored the first 10 points, led by as many as 37, and was in complete control in between.
Tim Duncan took just four shots but finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds as San Antonio shot 54 percent.
The Spurs spoiled the season debut of Knicks guard J.R. Smith, last season's Sixth Man of the Year. Suspended the first five games of the season for violating the NBA's anti-drug program, Smith shot 1 of 9 and scored five points in 20 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani both scored 16 for the Knicks.
Though San Antonio leads the Western Conference with a 6-1 record, coach Gregg Popovich said before the game the Spurs were playing C+ or B- basketball, adding there was "not much" he liked about the Spurs' start.
Well, hard to give this performance anything but an A+.
Green hit two 3-pointers in the 10-0 start, Marco Belinelli's 3 made it 17-4, and the Spurs hit 13 of 18 shots while opening a 35-17 lead after one quarter, matching their highest-scoring period of the season.
The lead grew to 24 points in the second, the Spurs repeatedly moving the ball to an open player before the Knicks knew what was happening. San Antonio was making roughly two of every three shots for much of the first half and took a 61-45 lead into the locker room after shooting 62 percent.
Smith, who ended the postseason in a miserable shooting slump, opened this season the same way. He missed all five shots in the first half, unable to shake the rust after appearing in just one preseason game following summer knee surgery.
By the time he made a 3-pointer with 8:43 left in the third quarter for his first basket, the Knicks trailed by 26 points. The Spurs went up by 30 a few minutes later on another 3 by Green, and fans loudly booed when Amare Stoudemire missed both free throws with a little less than 3 minutes left in the period.
The Knicks won both meetings last season, sweeping the Spurs for the first time in 10 years. But with center Tyson Chandler sidelined with a broken leg, New York looked defenseless against the Western Conference champions.
It was such a laugher that Popovich had Duncan, a career 69 percent free throw shooter, take the shot when Knicks coach Mike Woodson was called for a technical foul in the third quarter. Naturally, the way this one went, Duncan made it.
NOTES: Popovich will face one of his former assistants Monday when the Spurs visit the Philadelphia 76ers, coached by Brett Brown.
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