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MMPG: Team of the Week

San Antonio Spurs

Hey, Manu. Think the rest of the league knows we're serious yet? (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

After getting walloped in Los Angeles by the Western Conference-leading Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs continued to prove that they are the best of the rest of the West by defeating playoff contenders Utah and Phoenix on the road and holding off New Orleans at home. The Spurs have won seven of eight overall and finished with the best record in the month of January at 12-3.

Tony Parker, named as an all-star reserve last week, answered the challenge of facing three of the best point guards in the NBA -- Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Chris Paul -- by averaging 25 points and six assists in the victories. But Ginobili was huge off the bench. He scored 10 fourth-quarter points in a 106-100 win in Utah, netted 30 points while setting a franchise record by going 18-for-18 from the foul line in a 114-104 win in Phoenix, and scored 22 in a 106-93 win against the Hornets. The Spurs have won their past 30 games in which they scored at least 100 points.

The Spurs now have a three-game lead over New Orleans for first place in the Southwest Division. They will embark this week on an eight-game Rodeo Trip -- the annual extended road trip caused by the rodeo taking over the AT&T Center -- which usually launches the team into the stretch run. The Spurs have a 14-7 road record, which ranks third in the NBA behind Orlando and the Lakers, who lost center Andrew Bynum to a knee injury on Saturday.

By Michael Lee  |  February 2, 2009; 12:24 PM ET
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