SAN ANTONIO — Richard Jefferson broke out of a slump with 23 points, including a dunk to cap a 14-point run at the end of the first half, and San Antonio ended a three-game skid with a 118-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Tony Parker had 18 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who beat Sacramento for the second time this season and seventh consecutive meeting. Manu Ginobili added 20 points, including five in a key late-game run.
Omri Casspi scored 20 points to lead the Kings, who lost their fourth in a row and were playing their second game in two nights on the road.
A heralded offseason acquisition in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jefferson came in averaging 12.8 points per game. But he set the tone with a fast-break dunk off an assist from Parker on the Spurs' first possession.
Keith Bogans, Jefferson and Parker led the Spurs to a 30-24 lead after one quarter. Bogans drained three 3-pointers, Jefferson hit his first four shots and Parker had seven assists to go with six points.
Sacramento erased an early 10-point second-period deficit and took its first lead at 44-43 on Spencer Hawes' three-point play with 6:37 left in the half. The Kings extended their lead to 54-49 on a fast-break layup by former Spur Beno Udrih before San Antonio scored the final 14 points of the half.
Jefferson capped the Spurs' run and an 18-point first half by rebounding a blocked shot by Antonio McDyess, driving the length of the court and firing down a dunk with 4 seconds left in the second period.
The Spurs again built double-digit leads early and late in the third quarter, but could not shake the Kings. Udrih and rookie Tyreke Evans combined for 20 points in the period to help keep Sacramento close, and Evans' driving layup at the buzzer closed the Kings' deficit to 89-82 entering the final period.
Jefferson opened the fourth quarter by blocking Casspi's attempted layup, then nailing a 3-pointer on the other end.
But with Parker and Tim Duncan resting on the Spurs' bench, the Kings continued to hang around, narrowing the San Antonio lead to 101-96 on Casspi's 3-pointer with 6:08 remaining in regulation. Parker and Duncan came back in, but Duncan's foul sent Jason Thompson to the line, and Thompson's two free throws made it 101-98 to cap a 12-2 Kings run.
Parker scored baskets on consecutive possessions to give San Antonio some breathing room, and Ginobili's back-to-back drives, including a dunk with 1:57 left that followed a three-point play, gave the Spurs a 10-point cushion.