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Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

Spurs reach 40 wins ahead of road trip

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The San Antonio Spurs are the NBA's first team to 40 wins, and got there faster than the four-time champions ever have before.

News photo
Behind enemy lines: Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is surrounded by Rockets players as he goes up for a shot on Saturday in San Antonio. AP PHOTO

Maybe three weeks on the road will make things more challenging.

Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and the Spurs hit 40 victories by winning their 18th in a row at home, beating the Houston Rockets 108-95 on Saturday night.

"I'm just speechless right now," said Spurs center DeJuan Blair, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds. "Because it's just such an honor to be on this team, on this quest for greatness, and we've just got to keep it going."

Richard Jefferson added 18 points in what was San Antonio's last game at the AT&T Center for three weeks. The Spurs (40-7) embark on their annual Rodeo Road Trip starting Tuesday, testing the NBA's best record against nine straight road games.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has traditionally used the trip as a distraction-free chance to work out the kinks. But with the NBA's best record, the Spurs have few obvious faults — and are so far ahead in the Southwest Division (9 games) that they could lose every game on the trip and still be at the top.

Luis Scola led the Rockets with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Houston trailed just 76-71 after the third quarter before being buried by a flurry of 3s, and finished the game looking winded a night after nearly overcoming a 25-point deficit in a loss to Dallas.

"They don't beat themselves," Rockets forward Shane Battier said. "We were right there with them for a half. We played pretty good basketball, then we had that lull where we couldn't answer their 3s and their big shots that created separation."

Houston has lost four of six.

Kings 102, Hornets 96

In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and the Kings snapped New Orleans's winning streak at 10 games.

Clippers 103, Bobcats 88

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Randy Foye added 21 points in his third straight start for the injured Eric Gordon and the Clippers extended their home winning streak to eight.

Grizzlies 107, Wizards 93

In Memphis, Zach Randolph had 24 points and 20 rebounds, Darrell Arthur added a career-high 22 points and the Grizzlies kept Washington winless on the road this season.

Bucks 91, Nets 81

In Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut had 17 points and 18 rebounds and Brandon Jennings had two points in his return after missing 19 games because of a broken foot to help the Bucks win their third consecutive game.

Bulls 110, Pacers 89

In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Derrick Rose added 20 points despite two stomach ulcers and Luol Deng had 19.

Mavericks 102, Hawks 91

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and Jason Terry added 18 points and a season-high 11 assists to help the Mavericks improve to 5-1 following a six-game losing streak.

Timberwolves 103, Raptors 87

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had his NBA-leading 42nd double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Minnesota handed Toronto its 11th straight loss. Minnesota ended a six-game losing streak.

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