SAN ANTONIO (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs, not quite ready to be written off as too old and too slow to claim an NBA crown, routed the Los Angeles Clippers 115-90 Wednesday.

Manu Ginobili scored 24 points, leading six Spurs players who scored in double figures. DeJuan Blair added 20 and Richard Jefferson chipped in 19. Tony Parker scored 14 points with nine assists, Tim Duncan scored 10 with eight rebounds and James Anderson added 12 off the bench as the Spurs shot 56.3 percent from the field.

The Spurs also made all 15 of their free throws, but coach Gregg Popovich said defence was the real key to the victory. "Shots went in tonight," Popovich said. "That's what happens. Some nights they don't drop. Tonight the best part of our game was defence."

And that's what was lacking for the Clippers, coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Give San Antonio credit -- they were cutting hard, they were moving the basketball, we were very stagnant," he said. "We weren't physical. We weren't contesting shots...

"We played terrible, just from start to finish tonight," Del Negro said. "We had a little glimpse in the second quarter, I thought we did some good things. But they jumped on us in the third and we were just chasing them the rest of the game."

The Clippers have been touted as a potential new power in the Western Conference after the arrival of All-Star point guard Chris Paul to team with Blake Griffin, the explosive talent who earned Rookie of the Year honours last season. Griffin led the Clippers with 28 points, while Paul scored 10 on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Spurs, long a Western Conference force, won 61 games last season but were surprised in the first round of the playoffs by a young, energetic Memphis team, sparking predictions that the team led by 35-year-old Duncan and featuring 34-year-old Ginobili and 29-year-old Parker had passed their prime.

In their first two games of this lockout-shortened season, however, the Spurs have now beaten both Memphis and the Clippers. San Antonio led by as many as 12 points before Griffin capped a Clippers surge by soaring for a basket that knotted the score at 52-52 late in the second quarter.

A Ginobili three-pointer saw the Spurs take a 58-54 lead at halftime, and San Antonio took firm control in the third period, when they out-scored Los Angeles by 21 points to take a 96-71 lead. The comfortable victory meant Popovich was able to give his stars some rest. Duncan played 25 minutes, Parker 26 and Ginobili 27.

"You wouldn't trade it," Popovich said of the luxury of resting his veterans for significant minutes. It could prove especially important in the hectic, lockout-shortened season. The Spurs were due back in action on Thursday night at Houston. "It was a good night for us, and to get some rest was surely welcome," Popovich said.