Notebook: Spurs 99, Hornets 95



Posted Oct 31, 2012 11:28 PM

By Bradley Handwerger, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tony Parker scored 24 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 46 seconds to play and the San Antonio Spurs held off the New Orleans Hornets 99-95 in the season opener for both teams.

San Antonio trailed 95-94 after Hornets rookie Anthony Davis hit two free throws with 1:07 to play. But the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard pulled the New Orleans' defense with him into the lane on the ensuing possession, leaving Parker open from the top to sink his 3-pointer. The Hornets (0-1) couldn't get quality look out of a timeout and Greivis Vasquez's shot hit off the front of the rim. The Spurs' Tim Duncan fetched the rebound, was fouled and sank two free throws to clinch the win. Duncan recorded a double-double, finishing with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds while Leonard added 19 points for San Antonio (1-0).

For New Orleans, Davis led the way with 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Al-Farouq Aminu put up 17 points, pulled down seven rebounds, blocked three shots and had two steals in the loss.

QUOTABLE: "That was a big shot."
-- San Antonio's Tony Parker on his late 3-pointer

THE STAT: 732 -- the number of double-doubles the Spurs' Duncan has in his NBA career. He had nine points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter, playing steady basketball when San Antonio needed him the most. His final rebound was the biggest of the night and all but sealed the win.

TURNING POINT: New Orleans led 91-87 in the waning minutes of Wednesday night's game. But Duncan did what he has done so many times in his career. He scored seven points, grabbed a rebound and culled a charge on the Hornets' Roger Mason Jr., all in about a minute and a half to change the momentum of the game.

QUOTABLE II: "You can't put your personal feelings in it. If I got personal about everything I couldn't coach. I've got to do what's best for the team and sometimes you have to think about the player and their future and how they feel."
-- Hornets coach Monty Williams when asked about his personal feelings on Eric Gordon sitting out

NOT: Hornets rookie Austin Rivers picked up the start at shooting guard when Gordon was ruled out indefinitely. The spot might have been too big for him, however, as he went 1-for-9 and picked up three fouls in the opening 28 minutes. His first made basket came on an uncontested fastbreak layup with 8:22 to go in the game.

NOTABLE: New Orleans' Vasquez recorded a career-high 13 assists, half of the Hornets total for the game. ... Aminu tied his season high from the 2011-12 season in the '12-13 opener by scoring 17 points. ... San Antonio's Leonard had a career-best five steals to go with his 19 points.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Friday vs. Utah, Saturday @ Chicago, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. For the Spurs, Thursday vs. Oklahoma City, Saturday vs. Utah, Monday vs. Indiana.