Spurs take 3-2 lead against Kings

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SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs refused to be pushed around by Bonzi Wells and Ron Artest – no matter how many points the Sacramento pair scored.

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker helped the Spurs overcome a combined 62 points from Wells and Artest, going into the lane for five straight baskets down the stretch to pull out a 109-98 victory for a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.

Eighth-seeded Sacramento still has a chance of pulling off the upset, but it won’t be easy. The Kings must win Friday night at home to force a Game 7 in San Antonio on Sunday.

Ginobili led the Spurs with 27 points and nine rebounds. Duncan had 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Parker added 21 points and defensive specialist Bruce Bowen scored 16.

Wells scored 38, including half of Sacramento’s first 56 points. Once he cooled off, Artest got going, scoring 14 of his 24 points in the final period.

Wells made a 3-pointer that tied it at 91 with 3:36 to go, but the Spurs went right back on the attack, starting with a layup by Ginobili.

They continued charging the rim, getting a short hook by Duncan that put them ahead for good and kept it going with a finger roll by Bowen, another layup by Ginobili and another basket from Duncan.

When Michael Finley hit a pair of free throws with 55 seconds left, San Antonio finally had some breathing room at 103-96.

AP-ES-05-03-06 0012EDT

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