Parker, Spurs reach 10 straight at Kings' expense

Parker, Spurs reach 10 straight at Kings' expense
February 5, 2011, 5:20 am
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SACRAMENTO (AP) Tony Parker said he was disappointed he didn't make the All-Star team. However, the silver lining for the talented San Antonio Spurs veteran point guard is he's playing on the NBA's top team.Parker scored 25 points and had seven assists to help the Spurs defeat the Kings 113-100 on Friday night.One night after squeaking by the Los Angeles Lakers 89-88 on Antonio McDyess' tip at the buzzer, the Spurs built an early double-digit lead against the Kings.
REWIND: Spurs beat Lakers in dramatic Fashion
And it was Parker setting the tone early, getting through the Kings' defense for driving layups, hitting medium-range jumpers, and finding open teammates for easy baskets.Parker made 11 of 17 shots and hit both his 3-point attempts against a Kings defense that couldn't find a way to stop him."Tony has been playing at an All-Star level all season," Spurs teammate Richard Jefferson said. "On another team he would be averaging 25 points a game."Yet on the deep and talent-laden Spurs, Parker's regular contributions can be overshadowed at times. However against the Kings, Parker didn't shy away from attacking early. Told by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to be offensive-minded to start the game, Parker followed the game plan perfectly."With back-to-back games, Pop told me to make sure I was aggressive early," said Parker, a three-time All-Star who admitted he was "disappointed" about the All-Star omission. "It's great when I hear that. When he wants me to be aggressive, I'm aggressive."Jefferson had 16 points and Tiago Splitter also had 16 and tied a career high with nine rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 57 percent. Tim Duncan added 12 points and played only 12 minutes, while DeJuan Blair added 10 points and 12 rebounds.The Spurs (42-8) own the NBA's best record and have won two straight and 13 of 15. They are 2-1 on their nine-game road trip, their longest of the season.However, a break in the schedule had them flying back to San Antonio for three days before returning for a stretch of four road games in five nights."For me the break is huge," said Manu Ginobili, who had nine points and six assists. "The Laker game was tough for me. I'm very happy, we're playing really well and now we go home and have three days off."Tyreke Evans had 25 points and Beno Udrih scored 18 for the Kings. Carl Landry scored 17 points and Darnell Jackson added 11. Rookie center DeMarcus Cousins was limited to seven points and 10 rebounds.The loss was the second straight for Sacramento, which has dropped 11 consecutive games to the Spurs. The Kings' last win over the Spurs was Nov. 26, 2007.
REWIND: Kings upset run ends with loss to Celtics
"They know how to run their offense and they know the system because they've been running it for a long time," Evans said. "When they are running their offense that well there is nothing we can do about it."In building an early cushion, the Spurs were able to give Duncan a rest. Duncan played the first six minutes of the game and didn't return in the first half, then played another six minutes in the third before leaving the game.With Splitter playing so well, Duncan wasn't really missed."Tiago, he's an animal. He just plays so hard and does so many little things," Jefferson said. "He was huge for us tonight. He gave us a chance to give Tim (Duncan) a break, which is something that goes a long way when you talk about how long the season is."Trailing by 24 points midway through the third quarter, the Kings finally got going offensively. Evans scored 12 points to help the Kings cut the margin to 91-75 entering the fourth quarter.Jefferson made a 3-pointer from the corner to ignite a 9-0 third-quarter run at the 8:33 mark, building the Spurs' lead to 74-50. Three minutes later from nearly the exact spot, Jefferson was knocked to the floor after making another 3-pointer. He added a free throw for a four-point play and a 82-57 Spurs lead."I thought they put on a clinic tonight in the first quarter against us," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "After that we just tried to play catch-up the rest of the game, they're too good to do that against. We could never really stop them all night."Parker scored 16 points and the Spurs went to their bench frequently in the first half when they led 61-43. San Antonio made its first six shots and built a 49-26 lead in the opening four minutes of the second quarter.Notes: The Spurs are in the midst of their annual "Rodeo Road Trip." Their next home game is Feb. 23 against Oklahoma City. ... San Antonio shot 58 percent in the first quarter and led 34-19. ... Kings forward Francisco Garcia missed his ninth straight game with a strained left calf. ... The Kings shot 2 of 12 on 3-pointers.