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Mason earns his Spurs as Wizards wilt

THE San Antonio Spurs completed an eight-game road trip with a 98-67 demolition of the Washington Wizards on Saturday, holding the hosts to just 10 points in the final quarter.

Roger Mason had 25 points against his former team and Tim Duncan delivered 12 points and 11 rebounds in a lopsided win for the perennial Western Conference powerhouse.

"It was definitively not just another game," Mason said. "I'm a hometown kid. I grew up a Bullets fan and it is great to come back and play in front of family and friends.

"Obviously, the fact that I played with the Wizards the last two years added to the excitement."

Michael Finley added 19 for the Spurs, who have not yet played at home in February.

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Warriors 133, Thunder 120; Heat 97, 76ers 91; Mavericks 116, Kings 95; and Jazz 102, Hornets 88.

In Washington, the Wizards pulled within nine points of the Spurs with four minutes left before San Antonio reeled off 13 consecutive points, seven by Mason, to put the game out of reach.

"Tim and Tony (Parker) are our primary options but with Manu (Ginobili) hurt I had an increased responsibility," said Mason. "I had to step up on the offensive end."

Spurs guard Ginobili, who has a stress fracture in his right ankle, is expected to miss two to three weeks of playing time.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised his team's play at both ends of the court.

"Wins on the road are always the sweetest," Popovich said. "We knocked down shots and our defensive intensity was very high."

Caron Butler scored 24 points for the Wizards (13-43), who have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Antawn Jamison added 16 and Darius Songaila 15 but overall the Wizards made just a third of their shots, to the annoyance of interim head coach Ed Tapscott.

"Anything that you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse," Tapscott said.

In Oakland, California, Stephen Jackson scored 26 points and Corey Maggette added 25 in Golden State's win over Oklahoma City to give coach Don Nelson his 1,300th victory.

Nelson is just the second coach in NBA history to reach the milestone, joining good friend Lenny Wilkens, who has 1,332 career wins. The Warriors' fifth victory in seven games was vintage Nellieball, with his Warriors reeling off their fourth 120-point game of the month to compensate for their indifferent defense and 17 turnovers.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points for the Thunder, who have lost five straight.

In Miami, Dwyane Wade had 25 points and nine assists, including a big layup with one minute left, as Miami moved a step away from its closest pursuers in the Eastern Conference playoff race by beating Philadelphia.

Jermaine O'Neal finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in his second game with the Heat, who also got 13 points and 10 rebounds from Udonis Haslem.

Andre Miller had 30 points and nine rebounds for Philadelphia.


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