The San Antonio Spurs can win fast, or they can win slow.
One night after winning an uptempo game at Sacramento, the Spurs won their ninth straight Wednesday night with an 82-78 victory over the slow-down Golden State Warriors.
Tim Duncan had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Spurs. Malik Rose had 17 points off the bench and reserve guard Steve Kerr added 14 to help compensate for cold shooting by San Antonio starters David Robinson (1-for-8) and Sean Elliott (2-for-10).
The Spurs scored 63 points in the first half Tuesday night in a 121-109 win at Sacramento, the NBA's top-scoring team. On Wednesday night, the Spurs didn't reach 63 points until midway through the fourth quarter.
Elliott said the style of game against the Warriors is becoming more and more common in the NBA. Whereas the Spurs shot 61 percent at Sacramento, they hit just 38 percent against Golden State.
"Teams are slowing it down and people are getting banged around," he said. "So the shooting percentages are going to go down."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Robinson, who had just three points and five rebounds in 23 minutes against the Warriors, appeared stiff at times. And Elliott said he and some of his teammates were tired.
"I think the first team was a little tired. My legs are really tight," he said. "The schedule has been really tough, and we're not infants in this locker room."
The Spurs outscored the Warriors 28-9 at the foul line. In the past two games, Golden State has been outscored 52-14 on free throws.
The Warriors, who trailed by three at halftime, built a 56-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter. But they again blew a lead in the fourth period the Warriors have led or been tied at the start o the fourth quarter in 13 of their 23 games this season, and have gone just 7-6 in those games.
"We fought them to the end," Golden State's Chris Mills said. "But I'm getting sick of saying the same thing, that we fought them to the end and didn't get the win."
The Spurs opened the fourth period with a 9-4 run to regain the lead, and built a 65-62 lead with 6:56 left. Rose and Antonio Daniels scored the Spurs' 11 points during that spurt, with Daniels getting six points and Rose five.
The Warriors briefly took the lead at 68-67 on a 3-pointer by Starks with 4:27 left, but the Spurs went on an 8-2 run and then protected their lead by making five of six free throws down the stretch.
The Warriors jumped out to a 12-2 lead and led 20-4 after 6 1/2 minutes, with Coles scoring 10 of those points. But the Spurs then ran off eight straight points to begin a 28-8 run that was capped by two 3-pointers by Kerr.
San Antonio led 41-38 at halftime. Kerr had 11 points and Coles had 12 in the first half.
Notes: Muggsy Bogues returned for the Warriors after missing four games with a bruised right knee, but teammate Antawn Jamison missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Duncan tied his season high with the 17 rebounds. ... The Spurs have won six straight on the road, two short of matching the team record.
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