Duncan and Parker lead Spurs over Rockets
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan poured in 19 points and grabbed
nine rebounds to lead San Antonio past Houston, 86-80, at SBC Arena.
Tony Parker finished with 17 points and Manu Ginobili chipped in 15 for the
Spurs, who have won two straight and five of six. Robert Horry added 16 points
off the bench in the win.
Tracy McGrady finished with a game-high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for
the Rockets, who have dropped two of three. Yao Ming had 19 points in the
The Spurs used a dominating performance on the defensive side of the ball in
the first quarter to surge in front and never looked back. Parker’s three-
point play in the early going put the home club up five.
An 8-0 run just before the end of the quarter gave San Antonio a 21-10
cushion. Horry sparked the burst with his jumper while Parker’s bucket closed
it out with 25 seconds to go in the frame.
In the second, the Spurs’ lead grew to 13, as Ginobili’s three-point play just
before the half made it a 49-36 contest.
Out of the break, the Rockets still trailed by double digits in the third
quarter and got as close as 59-48 after Juwan Howard knocked down two shots
from the charity stripe.
However, San Antonio was too strong and scored the final six points of the
stanza to take a 70-52 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Spurs struggled to start the fourth, opening the frame 1-of-8 from the
floor. Despite the struggles, the Rockets were unable to capitalize and
trailed by double digits throughout most of the frame.
McGrady finally brought his club within 75-66 on his trey with just under five
minutes to play.
Horry, though, answered on the ensuing possession knocking down a three-
pointer from the top of the key to put the Spurs in front by 12 once
The Rockets refused to go away and McGrady knocked down two straight shots,
including a three to bring the visitors to within 78-71. After a Spurs bucket,
McGrady completed a three-point play to bring Houston within six.
“Tracy McGrady scares me when I’m asleep,” said Spurs head coach Gregg
Popovich. “He always scares me.”
San Antonio then knocked down four straight free throws to seal the win.
“I always expect a professional team like the Rockets to make a run,” Duncan
said. “You hope it doesn’t happen, but we survived it and came out with a
San Antonio has won 10 of the last 12 meetings and 14 of the last 17…The
Spurs shot 46 percent from the floor while the Rockets hit 28-of-72 (39
percent) from the field…Houston outrebounded San Antonio 40-35, but hit just
7-of-19 from beyond the arc…The Spurs went 13-of-18 from the charity stripe.