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Duncan sparks Spurs

On the day he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, Tim Duncan looked like anything but a raw rookie.

Duncan scored 22 points and keyed a crucial third-quarter rally Monday night as the Spurs defeated the Phoenix Suns 100-88 to take a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.

Duncan teamed with David Robinson in the third-quarter scoring binge as the Spurs grabbed a double-digit lead by outscoring the Suns 27-15. At one point, the two 7-footers took turns dunking off passes from the other.

San Antonio led 71-59 entering the final quarter after the score was tied at halftime.

The Spurs, trying to match up better with the smaller Phoenix players, abandoned their "Triple Towers" lineup and started 6-foot-4 shooting guard Vinny Del Negro in place of 7-foot center Will Perdue.

Antonio McDyess led the Suns with 26 points and 17 rebounds.

Duncan, the No. 1 draft pick from Wake Forest, received 113 of 116 rookie-of-the-year votes (97 percent) from a panel of writers and broadcasters. New Jersey's Keith Van Horn got the other votes.

"It's a goal I had coming into this year," he said.

Duncan's margin of victory as the largest since Shaquille O'Neal received 98 percent of the votes in 1992-93.

The Spurs went 56-26 in the regular season, an improvement of 36 victories from 1996-97.