CHICAGO Tim Duncan was dressed in street clothes, with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili joining him on the bench. San Antonio's three biggest stars got up occasionally to cheer for their teammates, but that was the extent of their contribution Monday.
On this night, the NBA-best Spurs did just fine without them.
Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 26 points, and Danny Green scored 18, leading short-handed San Antonio to an impressive 103-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
"One would hope that you could play with anybody in your system, but it was a tough challenge for them tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "And I couldn't be more proud of what they did."
Parker's right knee became swollen during Sunday's win over Brooklyn. Duncan (sore left knee) missed his fourth straight game, and Ginobili (tight left hamstring) sat out his fifth consecutive game. Stephen Jackson also missed the game to attend to personal business, the Spurs said.
Despite being outrebounded 49-26, including 17-2 on the offensive end, San Antonio won largely by converting 19 turnovers into 29 points.
"The approach is still the same, you know, every game," Green said. "It starts with Pop. He does a great job of preparing us, tells us what we need to do. We listen to him."
Nate Robinson scored 20 points for Chicago, and Joakim Noah grabbed 15 rebounds despite a nagging right foot injury.
"When you outrebound somebody like we did and to be in the position we were in, we beat ourselves," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, lamenting the turnovers. "They are terrific. They are going to make you pay for your mistakes."
The Spurs led by 14 three times in the third quarter, but Robinson led the Bulls back. The streaky point guard converted a twisting reverse layup to trim the deficit to 73-69 with 56 seconds left in the period.
Chicago pulled within one in the fourth before the Spurs began to pull away. Boris Diaw had a three-point play, and Leonard converted a layup in a 7-0 run that made it 89-78 with 5:55 to go.
"We didn't make shots down the stretch, and we couldn't get stops for some reason," Robinson said. "They have the best record in the NBA for a reason."
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