Tuesday, 16 October 2007 16:51
The world-champion Spurs really earned their title on Saturday by defeating the Euroleague Champions, Panathinaikos of Greece in a 113-91 game. The Spurs led the entire game, led by Tim Duncan, who scored 20 points in three quarters, and rested the fourth. Ginobili also took up where he left off last season, scoring 15 points, 6 of which came on three-pointers in the 3rd quarter, and another basket resulting from a powerful dunk.
Panathinaikos could be considered the Euro equivalent of the Spurs, as the team has won four Euroleague championships in eight years, and has a roster led by players, such as Sarunas Jaskevicius, who have extensive NBA playing time. For the Spurs and Coach Gregg Popavich, it was an opportunity to see how some of the team’s younger players—such as rookie Darius Washington, who had 10 points--would respond.
Brent Barry is in the last year of his contract and has been rumored to be considering retirement. He scored 12 points on 3-6 shooting from behind the arc. Star point guard, Tony Parker sat out the game after spending the summer playing with the French national team. Jacques Vaughn sat out with an injured leg.
In the Spurs only game so far against another NBA team, San Antonio was beaten by Dallas, 88-67. In that game, Duncan only played 17 minutes, finishing with 2 points and 4 rebounds, while 15 players saw action. Matt Bonner, Ginobili, and Barry all led the team with 14 points each. After the game, Robert Horry caused a bit of a stir by saying that he had thought about signing with Dallas and becoming one of the few players to have played on all three of Texas' teams. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Horry said, "That would be good. I'd come up here next year, give you a good two years, win a championship here and call it quits."