- The Washington Times - Friday, March 27, 2009

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker scored 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs celebrated having their big three together for the first time in six weeks by drubbing the weary Los Angeles Clippers 111-98 on Friday night.

Manu Ginobili had 14 points and Tim Duncan had 13 before San Antonio’s championship nucleus kicked back for most of the fourth quarter. Ginobili returned from a lengthy ankle injury on Wednesday, but Duncan had sat out to rest his knees.

The Spurs won their third straight and begin their final 10 games fully healthy in trying to keep their slim lead for the No. 2 seed in the West.

Mike Taylor, starting in place of an ill Baron Davis, scored 23 points for the Clippers.

Davis sat out with a stomach flu, and the Clippers then lost Marcy Camby less than three minutes into the game with a sprained left ankle. He didn’t return, but the team said X-rays were negative.

The Clippers couldn’t do much without their two starters. They trailed by 20 in the first quarter, 24 in the second and 27 in the third when the Spurs parked Duncan on the bench for good.

They’ll probably need him more Sunday at New Orleans. The Hornets are also fighting in the logjammed Western Conference for home-court advantage, but fell 3 1/2 games behind San Antonio on Friday with a loss at New York.

Duncan, Ginobili and Parker hadn’t played in a game together since Feb. 11, just before the All-Star break. That’s when Ginobili suffered a right ankle injury that kept him out 19 games before returning in Wednesday’s win at Atlanta.

Michael Finley had 11 points and Matt Bonner had 10 for the Spurs. San Antonio shot 56.1 percent from the field and turned the ball over just three times.

The Clippers lost their 12th straight in San Antonio, a streak that dates to 2002. Two nights after gutting out a 140-135 overtime win in New York, the Clippers are limping toward the finish line of their six-game road swing Saturday at Houston.

They may be without Camby once they get there. Bothered by injuries all season, Camby got another one with 9:02 left in the first when he collapsed to the ground after going up for a rebound with Duncan. He gingerly limped back to the locker room with the help of others.

Eric Gordon had 18 points, and Zach Randolph and Al Thorton had 16 apiece for the Clippers.

Notes:@ Spurs F Fabricio Oberto didn’t play after being troubled by an irregular heartbeat Thursday. Oberto said before the game he felt OK, but will remain out until at least Tuesday while doctors monitor his heart. … The Spurs have a safe lead in the all-time series, enjoying a 107-28 edge over the Clippers.

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