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Mason lifts Spurs past Wizards
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The San Antonio Spurs completed an eight-game road trip with a 98-67 demolition of the Washington Wizards on Saturday, holding the hosts to just 10 points in the final quarter.

Roger Mason had 25 points against his former team and Tim Duncan delivered 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"It was definitively not just another game," Mason told reporters. "I'm a hometown kid. I grew up a Bullets fan and it is great to come back and play in front of family and friends.

"Obviously, the fact that I played with the Wizards the last two years added to the excitement."

Michael Finley added 19 for the Spurs, who have not yet played at home in February.

Washington pulled within nine points of the Spurs with four minutes left before San Antonio reeled off 13 consecutive points, seven by Mason, to put the game out of reach.

"Tim and Tony (Parker) are our primary options but with Manu (Ginobili) hurt I had an increased responsibility," said Mason. "I had to step up on the offensive end."

Spurs guard Ginobili, who has a stress fracture in his right ankle, is expected to miss two to three weeks of playing time.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised his team's play at both ends of the court.

"Wins on the road are always the sweetest," Popovich told reporters. "We knocked down shots and our defensive intensity was very high."

Caron Butler scored 24 points for the Wizards (13-43), who have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Antawn Jamison added 16 and Darius Songaila 15 but overall the Wizards made just a third of their shots, to the annoyance of interim head coach Ed Tapscott.

"Anything that you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse," Tapscott told reporters.

(Agencies via China Daily Feburary 23, 2009)

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