SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Bulls, 101-83, on Wednesday night in a matchup of teams missing their starting All-Star point guards.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points and nine assists, Tiago Splitter had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points for San Antonio (48-14), which was playing its second game without Tony Parker.
Patty Mills provided a needed punch off the Spurs’ bench, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
Parker is expected to miss about four weeks with an ankle sprain and Derrick Rose has yet to play for the Bulls this season after undergoing major knee surgery.
Marco Belinelli had 21 points, Luol Deng added 19, Marquis Teague had 11 and Carlos Boozer 10 for the Bulls (34-27).
The Bulls led by as many as 14 points before the Spurs rallied behind increased defensive activity. The Bulls shot 8 for 31 in the first 18 minutes of the second half.
San Antonio chipped away at the lead in the third quarter, finally taking a 66-65 advantage on Boris Diaw’s free throw that completed a three-point play.
Nate Robinson’s 3-pointer put the Bulls back ahead, but the Spurs went on a 14-0 run to bridge the third and fourth quarters.
Deng’s 3 ended the run, pulling the Bulls within 80-71 with 9:27 left in the game.
San Antonio was able to close out its third straight win at home, outscoring Chicago 54-31 in the second half.
Notes: Robinson has played all 61 games for the Bulls this season while Rose, Richard Hamilton and Kurt Hinrich have missed a combined 91 games. ... With Cory Joseph starting the past two games, Ginobili is the only Spur playing significant minutes who has not started this season. Aron Baynes, who has appeared in nine games since signing Jan. 23, and James Anderson, who was waived Dec. 10 after appearing in 10 games, are the only other players on this season’s roster to not start. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he talks regularly to his mentor, former Spurs coach and current SMU coach Larry Brown. “I just talked to Coach yesterday. He’s enjoying (coaching SMU) because he gets to practice ... all the time. If Larry Brown can practice and teach, he’s a happy camper. That’s great. He’s enjoyed the school and I know he’s enjoyed being back in the saddle. He’ll go crazy if he’s not coaching.” . Bulls GM John Paxson played his first two seasons with the Spurs before signing with the Bulls as a free agent in 1985. Paxson spent his final nine seasons in Chicago, where he won three straight NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan.