Spurs take opener of 2004-05 series against Kings

By Gregory Moore
Updated: November 4, 2004

SAN ANTONIO,TX� Opening night in the Alamo City began with Grammy winner Brian McKnight singing the national anthem but it ended with the Spurs defeating the Sacramento Kings 101-85. Tim Duncan scored 30 points in the win with Brent Barry coming off the bench to score 16. For the Kings, Mike Bibby had 24 points with Chris Webber scoring 18 in the loss.

The Kings, who had begun their season on the road against the Dallas Mavericks had played their second game in as many days this week took an early 13-4 lead in the first quarter as the Spurs couldn�t hit a shot for 3:34 minutes into the first quarter. Fouls and turnovers commanded the quarter, as neither team was able to play cleanly. As the quarter progressed, the Spurs were able to pick up scoring as Tim Duncan established an inside presence for the perimeter game.

�It was a good start to the new season,� Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. �We rebounded well. The defense was pretty good. It was better than fair. It was a good first outing.� With Duncan pacing the team, the Spurs were able to find themselves as the game wore on. Although they looked sluggish in the first quarter, as the game progressed, the team was able to have contributions from players who they would be counting on down the stretch. Brent Barry came into his own this game by delivering plays that helped his team win besides his point production from the bench.

�Brent is going to be an important member of the rotation for a lot of reasons,� Popovich said. �He�s a smart player. His basketball quotient is high. I don�t think people understand what kind of basketball player he is.� While the Spurs were clicking, the Kings seemed to be stuck in neutral for the second night in a row. Although Webber scored 18 points in the contest, his 7 of 22 shot production was indicative of the kind of night the team was having.

�Tonight was a tough ending,� Webber said. �So far we�ve had a tough schedule but we�ve got to keep rolling with the punches. We just missed a lot of shots tonight.� As a whole, the Kings shot 40.5% from the field. Peja Stojakovic was 5 of 14 from the field while Bibby was 9 of 13.

�It just seemed like we ran into a wall,� Kings� coach Rick Adelman said. �We were sluggish in the fourth and got buried. We were better in a lot of areas but we didn�t maintain that through the whole game.� GAME NOTES: Just hours after signing a new deal, Tony Parker also had one of his worse shooting nights; 3 of 16. What he didn�t have on the scoring end he did make up for with five rebounds and four assists with just two turnovers. Manu Ginobili provided 24 points in his first night as a starter. The Spurs will take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles on November 5th. They will then travel to Seattle and play them on November 7th. Their next home game will be November 10th against the Golden State Warriors.