Thursday, February 24, 2005

Spurs beat Rockets for first Time

T.A. Badger / Associated Press
Tracy McGrady could only watch this time while Tony Parker led the San Antonio Spurs to victory.

Parker made three inside baskets, including a rare dunk off his own steal, during a decisive 14-3 run in the fourth quarter of a 99-81 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Parker went 6-for-7 in the second half and finished with 22 points, but Spurs coach Gregg Popovich only wanted to talk about his defense.

"On defense, he sealed the game for us," Popovich said. "Nobody notices it, they just notice what people do offensively, but on defense, he was very, very good."

In the first Spurs-Rockets matchup in early December, McGrady stunned San Antonio by scoring 13 points in the final 35 seconds to lead Houston to a one-point win.

In the second Rockets triumph, McGrady hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to end the Spurs' comeback hopes.

But on Wednesday, the last of his team-high 22 points came on a layup with five minutes left to bring the Rockets within three at 79-76. He took only one more shot, missing a 3-pointer with San Antonio leading by 15.

"I think I'm being too passive," said McGrady, who shot only 7-for-21. "I'm trying to stay in the offense and getting the other guys involved - that's how we've been winning. Sometimes it'll hurt us because I do need to be more effective."

Parker, who had a season-high five steals, wanted to talk about the breakaway slam with about three minutes left.

"The fans always get mad when I make layups, but sometimes I'm tired," he said. "Tonight I felt good. I'll try to do more."

The victory was the Spurs' first in three tries against Houston this season, and their 16th straight win at home. San Antonio is 24-1 at the SBC Center.

Tim Duncan scored 30 points, including his third 3-pointer of the season, and had 11 rebounds for the Spurs. Manu Ginobili added 18 points.

Yao Ming had 20 points and Juwan Howard 16 for the Rockets, who dropped their second in a row after winning eight straight before the All-Star break.

"We're struggling to score - I don't think we had a field goal off the bench tonight," said Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy, whose reserves went 0-for-11. "(The Spurs) had another level. That's why they're the best team in the league."

Houston played without starting point guard Bob Sura, who has a sore back. The team said Wednesday that Sura, averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 assists, could be out for up to two weeks with the injury.

Ginobili opened the game with a 3-pointer and Parker made two driving layups to give San Antonio a 9-4 lead in the first two minutes. The Rockets followed with their own 9-4 run, with a 19-foot jumper by McGrady tying the score at 13.

Houston led 26-21 after one as the Spurs missed six of their final eight shots of the period.

The Rockets made only five field goals in the second and missed six straight shots at one point, but San Antonio couldn't take the lead.

Down 40-34 late in the second, Parker made a pair of free throws and a layup to cut Houston's lead to two. But Yao hit a 14-foot turnaround jumper and foul shots by Jon Barry and Howard put the Rockets up 45-38, matching their biggest lead of the half. without Sura this season ... Rod Strickland, starting for Sura, scored four points and had five assists.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Preview: Spurs vs. Wizards


Spurs - 1st place, Southwest Division.
Wizards - 2nd place, 6{ GB, Southeast Division.

Spurs - F Bruce Bowen, F Nesterovic, C Tony Massenburg, G Ginobili, G Parker.
Wizards - F Jamison, F Jared Jeffries, C Brendan Haywood, G Jarvis Hayes, G Arenas.

Spurs - Duncan, 21.3 ppg and 11.8 rpg; Parker, 6.2 apg.
Wizards - Arenas, 24.7 ppg; Jamison, 8.1 rpg; Larry Hughes, 5.3 apg.

Spurs, 1-0.

Jan. 17; Spurs, 101-73. At San Antonio, the Spurs shot 52 percent (39-for-75), including 75 percent (12-of-16) from 3-point range, and limited the Wizards to season lows for points and shooting percentage (31.8 percent). Reserve Devin Brown led the Spurs with a career high-tying 24 points. Hayes, in a reserve role, was 10-of-20 and scored a career-best 27 points for Washington.

Spurs - 16-9 on the road.
Wizards - 18-7 at home.

Spurs - G Mike Wilks (knee); F Linton Johnson (ankle); G Romain Sato (knee).
Wizards - G Hughes (thumb); F-C Kwame Brown (ankle); C Peter Ramos (shoulder).

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Spurs take Control

Can you hear Seattle crying bout not having Ray Allen, and using that as an excuse for their lost to the Spurs?

Well SuperSonics’ fans can say what ever they want but the truth is San Antonio is red hot and was not about to lose to Seattle for the 3rd time this season, especially now, with the trio of Ginobili, Duncan, and Parker in full rhythm.

Ginobili was stingy posting up 12 boards and 23 points. Duncan scored 21 points and had 10 boards, while Parker put up 17 points and posted 10 boards as well. Now the Spurs have the best record at (37-10) and went 12-4 this month after disposing of the Sonics 103-84 Monday night.

Go Spurs!