SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich will not tolerate excuses, so the Spurs know better than to feel self-pity when a key player like Tony Parker is injured.
Instead, San Antonio is actually feeling pretty good about itself.
Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 101-83 on Wednesday night in a matchup of teams missing their starting All-Star point guards.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points and nine assists, Tiago Splitter had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points for San Antonio (48-14), which won its third straight since Parker was injured.
Parker is expected to miss about four weeks with an ankle sprain and Derrick Rose has yet to play for Chicago this season after undergoing major knee surgery.
San Antonio continued to play well without Parker, shooting 54 percent from the field and handing out 22 assists to maintain the league's record.
"In the first half it was not great, not bad either, but the second half was great," Ginobili said. "We attacked and moved the ball around the court from side to side and that is what you have to do against good defensive teams. I think that is something we should be really satisfied about."
Marco Belinelli had 21 points, Luol Deng added 19, Marquis Teague had 11 and Carlos Boozer 10 for the Bulls.
Chicago led by as many as 14 points before San Antonio rallied behind increased defensive activity. The Bulls shot 8 for 31 in the first 18 minutes of the second half.
"You can't hold on to the ball," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The ball has to move side to side. They're too good defensively. In the second half we settled; we took some poor shots. With the depth that they have, they're going to make you pay."
San Antonio's bench outscored Chicago's 45-18, with Patty Mills scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
"That is my role, to come off the bench and bring energy both offensively and defensively," Mills said. "My role is to shoot the ball when open, so I have a great opportunity now. We all have to fill the shoes of Tony being out and tonight was a great showing of Spurs basketball and identity."
San Antonio needed that energy after falling behind 52-47 at the half.
The Spurs chipped away at the lead in the third quarter, finally taking a 66-65 advantage on Boris Diaw's free throw that completed a three-point play.
"I thought defensively we were really on the mark in the second half all the way around," Popovich said. "I think all the way around it was a really fine effort. It was a physical game. It looked a lot like a playoff game atmosphere with intensity."