New York: Four-time NBA champions San Antonio Spurs stormed to a franchise-best 4-0 start to the NBA season after routing the Indiana Pacers 101-79 on Monday.
Reserve Gary Neal led five Spurs in double figures with 17 points, while Tim Duncan got a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to lift the team to the win.
Despite winning four NBA championships between 1999 and 2007, the Spurs had never won their first four regular season games.
“It’s just a stat, it’s not that important in the long term,” San Antonio veteran Manu Ginobili told reporters. “At this point, we’re enjoying it.”
San Antonio grabbed an eight-point lead after the first quarter before scoring the first 11 points of the second to push their advantage to 37-18.
The visiting Pacers (2-2) never fully recovered, trimming the deficit to nine at halftime only to be pegged back again in the second half.
George Hill and Paul George had 15 and 14 points respectively but Indiana shot just 34 percent from the field.
The Pacers, who made a strong run to the second round of the playoffs last season, are off to a tough start and playing without leading scorer Danny Granger who is out with a left knee injury.
With Granger out, points have been hard to come by for Indiana and San Antonio’s defense did not make things easier.
“I thought our defence was very good tonight,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “We caught a break tonight. Without [Danny Granger] their team loses spacing.”
The Spurs’ bench scored 57 points and the team moved the ball around to the tune of 25 assists.
Lead scorer Tony Parker scored just six points on a rare off night, while Ginobili played his second game since returning from a back injury and scored three points and made seven assists in 17 minutes.
Results from the NBA games on Monday (home team in CAPS)
NY Knicks 110 PHILADELPHIA 88
Minnesota 107 BROOKLYN 96
MIAMI 124 Phoenix 99
MEMPHIS 103 Utah 94
DALLAS 114 Portland 91
SAN ANTONIO 101 Indiana 79
SACRAMENTO 94 Golden State 92
Cleveland 108 LA CLIPPERS 101