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Spurs beat Raptors to end Toronto's five-game winning streak

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Associated Press
12/26/2012 11:17:58 PM
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SAN ANTONIO -- The Toronto Raptors could only nod their heads in admiration as their five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs.

Tim Duncan scored 15 points and San Antonio rolled to a 100-80 victory over Toronto, snapping the Raptors' longest winning streak in three years.

Manu Ginobili added 14 points, Tony Parker had 13, and Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson each had 10 for San Antonio, which has won three straight. Kawhi Leonard had nine points and 10 rebounds.

"I've been on that other side; I know what the composure is - experience," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "This team has been together forever. You got Hall of Famer(s) in Ginobili, and Duncan and Parker and it's a huge difference. We're trying to learn to keep that composure through those stretches and do the right things; make the right plays offensively and defensively."

The Raptors had difficulty accomplishing those tasks from the start.

San Antonio's starters averaged just 24 minutes, but still managed to outscore their counterparts 54-25.

None of Toronto's starters scored in double figures. Starting guards DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon were each 3 for 9 from the field in scoring eight and seven points, respectively.

Alan Anderson and Amir Johnson each had 12 points for Toronto.

Duncan had six rebounds and was 6 for 11 from the field in only 27 minutes as San Antonio's balanced attack wore down Toronto.

Every active Spur scored and eight had at least eight points.

"It took us a while to get going," Duncan said. "We're going to have times like that, have nights like that. You can attribute it to whatever you want to attribute it to. Bottom line is we got it turned around and going the way we wanted it to go in the second half."

San Antonio closed the third quarter on a 13-4 run to wrest control of the game after Johnson's 17-foot jumper pulled the Raptors within 57-54 with 4:24 left in the period.

San Antonio outworked Toronto during the run, including two offensive rebounds on the same play that led to a double-digit lead.

Parker missed a floater and Leonard followed his own 3-point miss with a one-handed dunk to give San Antonio a 63-53 lead with 2:38 left in the third quarter.

"They got a couple of offensive rebounds, we made a couple of turnovers and they made a couple of 3s," Calderon said. "They took it to 10 or 11 points and we couldn't get back in (the game). They played a little bit better down the stretch and that was it."

Leonard matched his season-high in rebounds and had two assists and three steals.

"Huge, huge for us," Ginobili said of Leonard. "With his length and ability to read situations, he can get a lot of deflections and steals that give you a good lift in some parts of the game."

The Raptors kept the game close early despite some poor shooting.

San Antonio shot 58 per cent in the first quarter compared to 38 per cent for Toronto, but the Raptors trailed only 20-18 by taking nine more field goal attempts.

Terrence Ross' 19-foot jumper gave Toronto its first lead of the game at 29-27 with 7 minutes left in the first half.

NOTES: Raptors F Andrea Bargnani (elbow), G Kyle Lowry (triceps) and C Jonas Valanciunas (finger) all missed the game with injuries. ... Every Spur has missed at least two games this season with the exception of Splitter and Boris Diaw, who have played in every game, and Duncan, who has missed one. ... Toronto traded Matt Bonner to San Antonio for Rasho Nesterovic on June 21, 2006, in a move that has clearly ended in the Spurs' favour. Nesterovic averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 193 games over three seasons with the Raptors. Bonner is in his seventh season with the Spurs, averaging 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds during his time with the team. ... Members of the Texas and Oregon State football teams were in attendance. The teams will play Saturday in the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome, the former home of the Spurs.

Pietrus Green Duncan (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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