Friday , Apr , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Parker, Spurs hold off Suns

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tony Parker scored a season-high 35 points,
and San Antonio held off a late charge by Phoenix to beat the Suns, 92-85, as
the Spurs inched closer to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Tim Duncan had 22 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots for the Spurs,
who won for the eighth time in nine contests. Michael Finley contributed 19
points and 10 rebounds, as San Antonio moved within two games of the Suns for
the second seed with seven games remaining for each team.

“You always get pumped up against good teams,” Parker said. “It’s a big game
and we are now two games behind, so it’s a good win for us. They’re a good
team; they just beat Dallas by 20. We just have to keep improving and try to
play the best basketball we can by playoff time.”

Steve Nash had 20 points and seven assists for the Suns, who came into the
game averaging nearly 111 points per game, but were hampered by shooting 38.5
percent from the field. Shawn Marion tallied 17 points and Raja Bell had 11
points and 13 boards in a losing cause, as Phoenix had a three-game winning
streak broken.

“They had us rushing a little bit tonight,” Marion said. “For the most part I
think they just played pretty good defense tonight. Foul trouble caught up
with us a little bit and we missed our free throws, just couldn’t get into a
rhythm tonight.”

The Spurs nearly wasted a 14-point lead in the final quarter. Finley’s tip-in
moved the home team to an 81-67 lead, but the Suns charged back.

Marion’s layup had Phoenix within 85-81, ending a 9-0 spurt with 1:55 left.

Bruce Bowen then missed a three for the Spurs, but Duncan blocked Leandro
Barbosa’s drive to the basket.

Parker then hit one free throw with 1:06 remaining, and after a Phoenix
turnover, Parker sealed the victory by nailing a jumper with 31.6 seconds to
go as the shot clock was about to expire.

Amare Stoudemire had 15 points and eight boards, while Barbosa ended with 12
points for the Suns.

Parker went 12-of-22 from the field and 11-of-14 at the foul line.

The Spurs led 20-19 after one quarter, but trailed 37-36 at the half. The
third marked the big turnaround, as eight consecutive Spurs points moved their
lead to 62-50. It was 71-59 going into the fourth.

Game Notes

The Spurs won two of the three meetings this season…Francisco Elson had 10
rebounds for San Antonio.