Notebook: Spurs 102, Bobcats 78

Posted Jan 30, 2013 11:52 PM

Tim Price, for

THE FACTS: Gregg Popovich was back on the bench after missing three games as coach of the Spurs because of an illness, but he wasn't the only familiar sight Wednesday night. San Antonio was led in scoring by Tony Parker's 22 points, and the Spurs recorded a double-digit victory over the Charlotte Bobcats 102-78 on Wednesday at AT&T Center.

San Antonio (37-11, the league's best record) has won nine straight games and 17 in a row at home. The Spurs defeated Charlotte by 30 points in their first meeting of the season. This time, although Popovich was back, the Spurs missed Tim Duncan for the fourth straight game with left knee soreness. Backup big men DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner also did not play because of sore knees.

Popovich "clinched" the spot as coach of the West squad in the All-Star Game.

Charlotte (11-34) has lost 10 of 12. Ramon Sessions came off the bench to lead the Bobcats with 20 points after taking 19 shots in 38 minutes.

QUOTABLE: "[Parker] did it again. He made a couple of baskets down the stretch when they cut [the lead]. He put it upon himself and he scores. He has been really special."
-- Gregg Popovich

THE STAT: The Spurs turned the ball over a season-high 23 times, and the Bobcats scored 23 points off them. Yet Charlotte turned it over 24 times, and San Antonio converted for 34 points.

TURNING POINT: Charlotte trailed by 19 early in the fourth quarter but cut it to 87-77 with just less than four minutes. The Spurs finished off the game on a 15-1 run. During that stretch the Bobcats took two shots from the floor compared to four turnovers.

QUOTABLE II: "[The Spurs] took care of business. In the second half they just put us away."
-- Charlotte's Ben Gordon

HOT: Parker was 9-for-10 tonight and is 49-for-76 (65 percent) during his last six games.

NOT: The Spurs backup shooting guards. Stephen Jackson went 1-for-6 and Gary Neal was 0-for-2. Combined they are shooting 29 percent over the last six games.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Parker has scored in double figures in 40-straight games dating back to November 9. Since December 28, he's scored in the teens three times and hit at least 30 three times. In his last six games he's averaging 23.8 points and 9.5 assists.

GOOD MOVE: Popovich would like to give Parker the treatment he gives Duncan -- plenty of rest against struggling teams. Parker had played 28 minutes through the first three quarters and started the fourth on the bench. But he couldn't stay there because Charlotte was threatening to cut the lead to less than double digits midway through the quarter. Parker came back in and played 4 ½ more minutes and the Spurs got on a roll to finish the game.

BAD MOVE: The Spurs were lacking most of their big men, but the Bobcats could not capitalize. They were outscored 48-24 in the paint and their guards took 51 shots. Even when Jeff Adrien went to the free-throw line four times in the first quarter Charlotte was unable to maintain getting the ball inside. Adrien took two more foul shots the rest of the game.

ROOKIE WATCH: With Duncan, Blair and Bonner on the sidelines, Aron Baynes got his most extensive action since the Spurs bought out his European League contact last week (he had played 42 seconds last week against Dallas). Tonight he saw 18 minutes of action and scored seven points with nine rebounds. Baynes was undrafted out of Washington State (he played there with Golden State's Klay Thompson) before playing internationally in Slovenia and on the Australian national team.

NOTABLE: In the two games this season between the teams, San Antonio has outscored Charlotte 84-30 from the 3-point line. ... In the first game of the series this season, San Antonio had a league-best 38 assists; tonight they had 38 field goals from 28 assists. ... Tyrus Thomas did not play for Charlotte because of a left knee contusion. ... Charlotte plays seven of the next nine on the road. ... Manu Ginobili scored nine points and had six assists for the Spurs, but he left the game late because his hamstring tightened.

UP NEXT: For the Bobcats, Saturday @ Houston, Monday @ Miami, Wednesday @ Cleveland. For the Spurs, Saturday vs. Washington, Wednesday @ Minnesota, Friday @ Detroit.