Barry, Spurs Stay Unbeaten on the Road

Monday, November 20th 2006, 6:30 am
By: News On 6

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Brent Barry could briefly forget about his bloody noggin and appreciate another strong road performance by the San Antonio Spurs.

No matter that Barry left Arco Arena with 12 stitches and a very visible 2-inch gash above the left side of his forehead. He was happy not to have a concussion.

San Antonio and Sacramento didn't lack for drama in the teams' first meeting since the Spurs beat the Kings in the sixth game of their first-round playoff series in May.

``I came to Arco Arena and a hockey game broke out,'' Barry said.

Tim Duncan scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and the Spurs improved their franchise-best road start to 5-0 with a physical 108-99 victory over the ineffective Kings on Sunday night.

``He had a pretty good whack,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Barry. ``Did you see it? That was long. Maybe he should get a shot.''

In the only other game Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 82-72.

Barry, checked for dizziness and concussion symptoms, wasn't the only one beat up afterward. Two other players had to leave for the locker room to get stitches.

Barry scored 11 points before going down with 22.2 seconds left in the second quarter following a hard collision with Ronnie Price. Both players were helped off the court and needed stitches _ Barry's on the left side above his forehead and seven for Price on his chin. Both returned, with Barry sporting a giant bandage held on by a headband.

``I knew right away,'' said Barry, who once had six or seven stitches for a cut on his left eyebrow. ``It was unfortunate we both got hurt on the play. It's basketball. It's part of the game.''

Sacramento's Kenny Thomas headed to the locker room 5:25 before halftime to get two stitches on his lip after being hit in the mouth by Duncan. Kings coach Eric Musselman thought it should have been Duncan's third foul but nothing was called.

Ron Artest had 22 points and five rebounds, scoring seven of the Kings' points in a 12-3 spurt to start the second quarter. But the Kings couldn't stay with the Spurs and lost their second straight after a four-game winning streak. San Antonio won for the sixth time in eight games in Sacramento.

``They know how to win on the road, they know how to win at home,'' Musselman said. ``They've been doing it for many years.''

Kevin Martin added 20 points for his fifth straight 20-point performance and Sacramento _ in a stretch with eight of 10 games at home including three of its next four _ had a four-game winning streak in Arco Arena snapped. Sacramento had season lows of 10 assists and four steals.

The Kings had a tough time getting a hand in the face of the Spurs' shooters, who made five of their first 11 3-point tries and eight in all _ three by Barry.

Tony Parker added 17 points and Manu Ginobili 16 for San Antonio. Duncan made 13 of 17 shots and went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line.

``I got it going early and was able to sustain it,'' Duncan said.

Popovich spoke to star defender Bruce Bowen on Friday after the forward was recently called and warned by Stu Jackson, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, about giving jump shooters enough space to land _ otherwise he could face a fine or suspension.

New York's Steve Francis injured his left ankle on Nov. 6 when he came down on Bowen's foot after a made shot and Knicks coach Isiah Thomas complained to the league about Bowen.

``I had a talk with him about just being Bruce Bowen,'' Popovich said. ``All that stuff is garbage, be who he is. He's the best perimeter defender in the league.''

Bowen has said he is committed to sticking with his menacing defensive style.

After a first half filled with questionable foul calls, the officials were booed loudly as they left with security at halftime. There were two first-half technicals _ at 10:13 on Shareef Abdur-Rahim for arguing after being whistled for a foul on Duncan and on the Spurs' Robert Horry for a defensive violation.

``I think for a second we let it (affect us),'' Abdur-Rahim said. ``But you have to be mentally tougher than that.''

At Los Angeles, Lamar Odom scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers.

Andrew Bynum added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles before fouling out. Kobe Bryant scored 18 points, matching his lowest total in eight games since returning from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in July.

Bryant, last season's NBA scoring champ, shot 5-for-14 after scoring 31 points in Friday's 107-100 win against Toronto, but the Lakers still managed to win their third in a row and hand Chicago its fourth straight loss.

Andres Nocioni scored a career-high 30 points for the Bulls. The third-year forward, who missed his first nine shots in Friday's 110-83 loss at San Antonio and came in with a 10.7 scoring average, made five of his first seven against the Lakers and finished 11-for-21 overall.