- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 7, 2009

SAN ANTONIO | Tony Parker scored 19 points, Michael Finley had 14, and the San Antonio Spurs treated new addition Drew Gooden to a dominant performance in a 100-78 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Signed by the Spurs this week, Gooden sat on the bench in street clothes while resting a groin injury that has limited him to just two games since Jan. 19. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he may wait another week before debuting Gooden, who bought out of his contract in Sacramento this week to become a free agent.

Antawn Jamison had 14 points for Washington and Tim Duncan scored a season-low five in the lopsided win.

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Caron Butler’s sore hamstring kept him benched a third straight game for the injury-ravaged Wizards, who lost DeShawn Stevenson for the year Friday when he underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc.

The Eastern Conference’s most hapless team — Washington’s 14 wins are just one better than NBA-worst Sacramento — was crushed by San Antonio for the second time in two weeks after losing 98-67 on Feb. 21.

Ime Udoka scored 13 points and reserve George Hill had 12 for San Antonio, which entered the game having lost three of its last four.

The Spurs are more likely to have their hands full Sunday against Phoenix, and Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in the final meeting of the West’s top two teams.

Darius Songaila and Nick Young had 11 points apiece for Washington.

Earlier in the day, Wizards coach Ed Tapscott said he pointed out the Spurs’ four championship banners to his team during shootaround as inspiration. And it might have worked to keep Washington close for most of the first half.

Then Finley hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, pushing San Antonio’s lead to 12 at halftime, and it ballooned from there. The Spurs shot 62 percent in the third to extend their lead to 79-53 behind 15 points from Parker.

Clapping from the bench was Gooden, who told reporters Thursday he felt healthy after being signed by the Spurs.

Gooden has averaged 13.1 points and 8.7 rebounds this season in 32 games, all but one of which came in Chicago. The Bulls traded Gooden to the Kings in a six-player deal last month, but Gooden played only one game with Sacramento.

The Spurs had about $1.5 million remaining in their midlevel exception to offer Gooden. Sacramento agreed to an undisclosed buyout of Gooden’s $7.1 million salary in the final season of his contract.

Tapscott doesn’t expect Butler’s tight left hamstring to leave Washington without its second-leading scorer much longer. The Wizards play at Dallas on Saturday and at Minnesota on Monday before returning home from a four-game road swing.

Washington announced that Stevenson will start rehab in two weeks and is expected to begin playing basketball again in three to four months. Bothered much of the season by lower back pain, Stevenson averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 assists in 32 games.

Notes — Gooden had marquee company on San Antonio’s bench. Popovich said forward Manu Ginobili is still rehabbing his injured ankle on a bike and is still not practicing. Ginobili, who hasn’t played in 10 games, is expected to be out at least another week. …

Spurs guard Jacque Vaughn, who has played in just 22 games this season, had seven points in about 13 minutes.

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