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Duncan helps Spurs clinch Southwest title

(Reuters) - The San Antonio Spurs clinched the Southwest Division title with a 105-91 romp over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday that kept them on the heels of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference lead.

Tim Duncan equaled Phoenix's first quarter production, scoring 13 of his 19 points as San Antonio (42-16) galloped to a 35-13 lead.

He also had 11 rebounds in three quarters of playing time.

The balanced Spurs had 13 players score in the game, giving Duncan and other starters valuable rest time.

“"We were able to jump on them pretty quickly and we sustained it through the game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters.

“ "Sometimes it's your worst nightmare to jump to a big lead at the beginning of an NBA game. I thought (the players) focused pretty well and did a good job."

Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker both had 14 points for San Antonio.

Sebastian Telfair came off the bench to score 21 points for Phoenix, who dropped 1 1/2 games behind Houston and Denver in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

All-Star guard Steve Nash played the first six minutes of the game, then did not return.

"“He was not feeling well, and we're not going to risk one game of putting him back in there and then him missing the rest of the season," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "“I didn't think it merited him going back into the game."

Elsewhere, Kevin Durant scored 43 points in Oklahoma City's 115-110 win over Minnesota that kept the Thunder (44-16) in the West lead.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien)

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