Spurs blow lead, hang on vs. Kings for fourth straight win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- An uncharacteristic lapse on defense nearly cost the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter.

Tim Duncan had 22 points and 19 rebounds, Tony Parker scored 23 and San Antonio held off the Sacramento Kings 96-93 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.

Parker and Duncan frustrated the Kings' defense, helping the Spurs win for the seventh time in eight games and improve to 9-2, the best record in the Western Conference.

But the Kings gave San Antonio a scare thanks to Mike Bibby's
shooting in the fourth. Trailing by 17 early in the quarter, Sacramento finally got going when Bibby scored 14 of his season-high 33 points in the period.

His 3-pointer cut the lead to 96-93 with 27.6 seconds left, but he could not connect on a desperation 3 in a crowd that would have tied the game with 1 second left.

"He almost single-handedly finished us off," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Manu Ginobili scored 12 points for the Spurs and Rasho Nesterovic had 10 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Sacramento, which lost its second straight and is a subpar 3-3 at home, outscored San Antonio 35-23 in the fourth.

"We stopped playing defense and we stopped moving the ball offensively in the fourth quarter," Ginobili said. "Bibby had a chance to hit that last chance. With those last-second shots anything can happen."

Coming off a two-point loss Sunday night in Seattle, the Kings were without leading scorer Peja Stojakovic, who sat out with a sprained finger. Bonzi Wells had 18 points and 14 rebounds, Francisco Garcia scored 12 and Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 11.

"It was a tough loss. It took us forever to seem to get any rhythm at all," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We had our shot, but we couldn't get over the hump."

Parker continually knifed through Sacramento's defense, scoring 10 points in the third period when San Antonio built the lead to 73-58 heading into the final quarter.

Although Parker couldn't stop Bibby in the fourth, he had the advantage through most of the game in the point guard matchup.

Parker consistently made his outside shots and finished 9-of-16 from the field.

"He's not Larry Bird yet with his outside shot, but his mid-range jumper has been more consistent this year," Popovich said. "He has worked hard on his shot."

The efficiency of Duncan and Parker was on display in the first half when San Antonio took a 49-39 lead. Working effectively inside and on the perimeter, Duncan shot 7-of-9 for 14 points. Parker was able to penetrate frequently, scoring 13.

"Sometimes after a back-to-back we'll come out a little slow," Sacramento's Brad Miller said. "They just really jumped on us early. They were getting a lot of easy shots and making them."

Game notes
San Antonio's Robert Horry played just the final 3:16 and grabbed two key rebounds. ... Garcia made his first NBA start, replacing Stojakovic. ... After missing six straight games with lower back spasms, Brent Barry played in a reserve role and was scoreless in eight minutes. ... Miller had zero points and
Abdur-Rahim had two in the first half. Miller finished with a season-low two points.