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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tyler posts first double-double as Warriors fall to Spurs

AP

OAKLAND, California — Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson has given his younger players, including former Tokyo Apache post player Jeremy Tyler, increased playing time in recent weeks. And on Monday, the injury-plagued Warriors started four rookies against the San Antonio Spurs.

News photo
Class act: Miami superstar LeBron James gives his shoes to 7-year-old Daniel Smith after the Heat downed the Nets 101-98 on Monday night in Newark, New Jersey. AP

The results were predictiable.

Tim Duncan scored 13 points in his shortest night of work this season, Tiago Splitter added 15 points and eight rebounds and the Spurs beat the Warriors 120-99 to move into the top spot in the Western Conference.

Tyler, a second-round draft pick last June, played a season-high 32 minutes and notched his first NBA double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds). He was 5-for-13 from the field and 1-for-2 at the free-throw line. He had two assists and one steal, and picked up four personal fouls.

Longtime NBA coach Bob Hill worked tirelessly to prepare the then-teenage Tyler for the NBA during their short season together with the Apache — 34 games.

In recent weeks, he's been in Warriors starting lineup on a regular basis, but playing averaging 9.9 minutes per game before the Spurs contest.

The Warriors became became the first team to start four rookies since the Denver Nuggets did so on March 9, 2003, against the Orlando Magic.

After the game, Jackson told reporters he was pleased with Tyler's play.

"I thought he was, for the first time in a long time, he tried to catch and finish at the rim," Jackson said of Tyler. "He attacked . . . he showed some signs and he battled. He was active on the boards and also active in trying to challenge shots. Certainly a night to build on."

Gary Neal added 17 points for the Spurs, winners of 17 of their last 20. San Antonio moved percentage points ahead of Oklahoma City in the race for the No. 1 seed in the West. The Thunder lost 92-77 to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We're in the run for it," Duncan said. "We're going to do our best to try to win the West but it's not going to break our hearts if we don't. We want to be healthy more than anything."

"We understood the situation, we got the comfortable lead and Pop (coach Gregg Popovich) made the call," Duncan said of his brief appearance. "It was the right call. Our main focus is to be healthy and have our legs."

Nate Robinson had a season-high 30 points and Klay Thompson scored 29 for Golden State, which has lost 14 straight to San Antonio.

Duncan took only eight shots in the game and never took his warmup pullover off in the second half, part of Popovich's plan to keep his starters fresh for the postseason.

It was the second straight game in which San Antonio's Big Three of Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili spent more time on the bench than on the court.

Popovich said before the game he was more concerned with his team's health than he was in trying to get a better seeding in the West, especially with the Spurs playing the first of three games in three nights.

Jazz 123, Mavericks 121 (3OT)

In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored 28 points and tied a career-high with 26 rebounds as the Jazz defeated Dallas to halt a seven-game losing streak against the Mavericks and preserve their slim playoff hopes.

Utah began the day 10th in the Western Conference but pulled one-half game behind Phoenix and Houston for the eighth and final spot with four games remaining.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points against Utah for the second straight time. His 3-pointer forced the second overtime, but he couldn't convert late in the third extra period.

Heat 101, Nets 98

In Newark, LeBron James scored Miami's final 17 points in a furious one-man rally, finishing with 37 to lead the Heat past the Nets.

Hornets 75, Bobcats 67

In Charlotte, Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points and New Orleans handed the Bobcats a franchise-record 17th straight loss.

The loss assured Charlotte (7-53) of the worst record in the league, giving it a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the NBA lottery on May 30.

Wizards 87, Bulls 84

In Chicago, Kevin Seraphin had 21 points and 13 rebounds, John Wall scored 16 points, and Washington beat the short-handed hosts.

Nuggets 105, Rockets 102

In Houston, Arron Afflalo scored 26 points, Ty Lawson had 25 and Denver continued its playoff push with a victory over the fading Rockets.

Hawks 109, Raptors 87

In Toronto, Jeff Teague had 19 points and 10 assists, Ivan Johnson scored 21 points and Atlanta beat the Raptors for the seventh time in eight games.

Pacers 111, Timberwolves 88

In Indianapolis, David West had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help Indiana win its fifth straight.

Magic 113, 76ers 100

In Orlando, Ryan Anderson had 26 points and 16 rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and the Magic held off Philadelphia.

Suns 125, Trail Blazers 107

In Phoenix, Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash had 13 assists to help the Suns cruise past Portland.

Clippers 92, Thunder 77

In Los Angeles, Nick Young scored 19 points, Blake Griffin added 17 and Randy Foye 13 to help the playoff-bound Clippers beat Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points.



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