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Bad News/Good News for Spurs

By Daniel Strickland on December 22, 2005.

The bad news is that for the first time this season, the Spurs have lost two consecutive games. I was going to post before last night’s game against the Bucks something along the lines of, “The Spurs Don’t Lose to Good Teams.”

That had been true for 24 games — four of their five losses were to inferior opponents — all except Dallas in the third game of the season — 11/5 Dallas, 11/12 Washington, 11/25 Chicago, 12/10 Atlanta, 12/18 New Orleans.

Now add Milwaukee to that list, and unlike Washington, Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans, they are a legitimate playoff contender.

What happened? Duncan fouled out in overtime.

Duncan had a season-high 34 points on 15-of-28 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds before fouling out with 22 seconds left in overtime. Tony Parker added 22 points and Nazr Mohammed 11 in the defending champion Spurs’ second straight loss.

Duncan, a two-time MVP, scored 11 points against New Orleans on Sunday, but made his first six shots Tuesday. He had 18 points in the first half, helping the Spurs build a 14-point lead late in the second quarter.

“Once he was gone, the guys didn’t really flow in their offense as much,” Bogut said. “There was a lot of pressure on Parker and (Robert) Horry and those guys, and that really helped us.”

San Antonio has dropped three of its last four on the road after losing just two of its first nine away from the SBC Center.

The Spurs took a four-point lead early in overtime, but Williams’ free throw after Duncan fouled out cut it to 106-105. Horry gave the Spurs a two-point lead with one free throw with 20 seconds left before the Bucks tied it at 107 on Bogut’s follow shot 6 seconds later.

The good news from last night’s NBA action is that legendary Spur George Gervin’s record for most points scored in a quarter still stands, although Kobe Bryant came very close to beating it last night.

“It was quite an exhibition for three quarters Kobe put on tonight,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen a few 60-point ballgames in my time, but none of them had been done by the third quarter.”

Bryant scored 15 points in the first period, 17 in the second, and a franchise-record 30 in the third before taking a seat for good with the Lakers leading 95-61.

“His 30-point third quarter was incredible,” Jackson said.

The previous Lakers record for points in a quarter was 24, shared by Bryant and Hall of Famers Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.

The NBA record for points in a quarter is 33 by George Gervin of San Antonio in 1978. Denver’s David Thompson scored 32 in a quarter the same season, and Wilt Chamberlain 31 for Philadelphia in 1962, when he set the single-game NBA record with 100 points.

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