NBA: Hamstrung Spurs beat Kings with stunning rally

 San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) shoots the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the first half at AT&T Center.
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) shoots the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the first half at AT&T Center. PHOTO: REUTERS

San Antonio (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs delivered the biggest comeback of the NBA season on Wednesday with a 114-104 win over the Sacramento Kings to extend their winning streak to nine games.

Coming back from as many as 28 points, the Spurs improved to 50-13 on the season, giving them their 18th straight 50-win season.

San Antonio has now won 50 or more games every season since 1997-98, except in the strike-shortened 1998-99 campaign, when they went 37-13. I

In 28 years, the Spurs have had just one losing season, when they finished 20-62 in 1996-97.

Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 19 points and David Lee equalled his season-best scoring output with 18 points as the shorthanded Spurs roared from behind in front of a crowd of 18,400 at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs rested star forwards Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge and trailed by as many as 28 points in the second quarter before their scorers took over.

"It was a really bad start for us, but once we started getting back on defence and making them score in the half-court, we turned up the pressure a little bit," Lee said.

"We are always going to fight as a team. We knew if we got a few stops in a row and every hustle play, we could get to within striking distance.

"Being down 28 seemed like a lot of points, but we were able to chop away and make it work."

San Antonio never led until a Patty Mills three-pointer with 6min 26sec to play gave them a 95-92 advantage.

Another Mills three-pointer and free throw almost three minutes later gave the Spurs' a 99-94 lead and the Kings couldn't stay with them.

Danny Green drained consecutive three-pointers in the final 2min 20sec to help San Antonio secure the win.

Mills finished with 17 points while Jonathon Simmons and Green scored 14 points each.

"It was a team effort - we had 33 assists," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

"Everybody chipped in and did what they had to do by getting up into the Kings after the first quarter.

"They took some pride in it. They wanted to win the game. I thought the whole team effort was fantastic."