Off Beat Stories

Nov 1, 2009 10:11 AM by Associated Press

Holy flying rats, Batman! Ginobili catches bat

The Spurs' Manu Ginobili showed off his quick hands - capturing a bat.

"That was amazing," teammate Tony Parker said after the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings 113-94 on Saturday night. "The legend continues with Manu. Unbelievable. ... He's always doing crazy stuff."

Late in the first period a bat swooped into the AT&T Center and descended onto the court. Players scattered and officials stopped play. The bat circled and left only to return - briefly.

That's when Ginobili performed his Halloween trick, swatting the bat out of the air with a bare hand. He then carried the creature off the court to thunderous cheers.

As the theme song to "Batman" played, a few Sacramento players applauded, too. A trainer emerged to squirt sanitizer on Ginobilil's hand. "When you can't dunk anymore, you have to find a way to make it into the news," Ginobili said. "So that's what I did. I grabbed a bat. I didn't think it was a big deal."

On the court, Parker led the Spurs with 24 points and seven assists, and Ginobili scored 13 points in a reserve role. He ended the first period with a driving layup at the buzzer. Richard Jefferson added 21 points for San Antonio.

The only performance anyone wanted to talk about was Ginobili's.

"The drummer that he marches to sometimes is a little bit different," Spurs coach Greg Popovich said. "He never ceases to amaze me and he just did it again. The legend grows. It's incredible on Halloween night. You would call someone a liar if they told you that story."

Kevin Martin had 26 points and Spencer Hawes scored 22 for the Kings, who dropped to 0-3.

After scoring 28 points against Chicago on Thursday, Tim Duncan had just seven points Saturday. He grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked one shot.

The Kings struggled throughout the second half - with their shot, handling the ball and containing Parker and Jefferson.

"We wanted to bounce back," Parker said. "Obviously, we had a tough loss against Chicago. The Bulls outplayed us last game. So we wanted to make sure we came out tonight with a lot of energy. And that's what we did tonight."

San Antonio increased its 16-point halftime lead to 21 after three periods. Parker electrified in the third. He scored eight points and threaded a beautiful pass to Roger Mason Jr., who knocked down a 3-pointer.

Mason made two 3-pointers. Jefferson hit 2-of-3 3-point attempts on the night. The Spurs shot 50 percent (8 of 16) from behind the arc. Next to Ginobili, Jefferson stood out most to Parker.

"He was very impressive," Parker said. "He made some shots from the outside, and I think that helped his confidence."

Theo Ratliff came off the bench to contribute 15 points, pull down five rebounds and block two shots.

The Kings only had two players score in double figures - Martin and Hawes. Desmond Mason was Sacramento's third-leading scorer with seven points.

"We were beating our heads against the wall trying to figure out how to beat this team and stay in the game," Kings Coach Paul Westphal said. "Even when the Spurs went to the bench, they stayed solid. Actually they were better than solid.

"We aren't the only team that hasn't been able to keep Tony Parker out of the paint or guard Manu Ginobili. I give my team credit because they were trying," he said.

The Spurs began pulling away with 7:17 to play in the second period. DeJuan Blair stole an inbound pass and made a soft layin to ignite a 19-6 San Antonio run. Parker scored six points, had three assists, grabbed two rebounds and made a steal during the run.

 

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