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Spurs ground Rockets for 18th straight home win

Associated Press Modified: January 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm •  Published: January 29, 2011

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs are the NBA's first team to 40 wins, and got there faster than the four-time champions ever have before.

Maybe three weeks on the road will make things more challenging.

Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and the Spurs hit 40 victories by winning their 18th in a row at home, beating the Houston Rockets 108-95 on Saturday night.

"I'm just speechless right now," said Spurs center DeJuan Blair, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds. "Because it's just such an honor to be on this team, on this quest for greatness, and we've just got to keep it going."

Richard Jefferson added 18 points in what was San Antonio's last game at the AT&T Center for three weeks. The Spurs (40-7) embark on their annual Rodeo Road Trip starting Tuesday, testing the NBA's best record against nine straight road games.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has traditionally used the trip as a distraction-free chance to work out the kinks. But with the NBA's best record, the Spurs have few obvious faults — and are so far ahead in the Southwest Division (9 games) that they could lose every game on the trip and still be at the top.

Luis Scola led the Rockets with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Houston trailed just 76-71 after the third quarter before being buried by a flurry of 3s, and finished the game looking winded a night after nearly overcoming a 25-point deficit in a loss to Dallas.

"They don't beat themselves," Rockets forward Shane Battier said. "We were right there with them for a half. We played pretty good basketball, then we had that lull where we couldn't answer their 3s and their big shots that created separation."

Houston has lost four of six.

Tim Duncan, in jeopardy of missing the All-Star game for the first time in his career, had 12 points and seven rebounds as every Spurs starter was in double figures. Fans didn't vote in Duncan as an All-Star starter for the first time in 11 seasons, and he must wait this week to see whether coaches vote him in as a reserve.

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