SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 20 (Ticker) --
The offense of Tim Duncan
defense of Tony Parker
turned away the red-hot Houston Rockets.
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Duncan scored 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Parker
made Steve Francis'
afternoon a miserable one as the San Antonio
Spurs posted their fourth straight victory, an 87-82 triumph
over the Rockets.
Duncan's biggest basket came with one minute to play as he was
fouled sinking a layup that gave the Spurs an 84-82 lead. After
he tacked on the free throw, Stephen Jackson
and Parker each hit
1-of-2 from the line in the final 15 seconds to ice the win.
Francis, who scored a career-high 44 points in a win over the
Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, was held to a season-low four
points on 1-of-12 shooting, primarily by Parker.
"I was thrilled with (Tony's defense)," Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich said. "He took it as a personal challenge."
"I just couldn't get any shots that I would normally take to
fall," Francis said. "It was a tough game for me, individually,
but I am really proud of the effort everyone displayed."
The loss snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the
scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds and
Parker collected 11 points, eight assists and six boards for San
Antonio, which also has been hot.
San Antonio has won seven of its last eight to move a
season-high 12 games over .500. At home, it has won nine in a
row since a loss to Sacramento on December 8.
Robinson's highest scoring output of the month came at the
expense of rookie Yao Ming
"He took advantage of not being closely guarded," Popovich said.
"I just had a hard time getting my legs under me, but they made
it very tough for me defensively," said Yao, who finished with
11 points and eight boards in 24 minutes.
The Spurs led, 72-59, after three quarters and appeared to have
the game well in hand until Maurice Taylor
led the Rockets back.
After Steve Kerr's 14-footer with 9:20 left gave San Antonio a
76-65 advantage, Taylor scored six points in a 15-2 run.
lay-in with 4:37 capped the burst and gave the
Rockets their first lead since the first quarter at 80-78.
Parker and Moochie Norris
exchanged baskets before Duncan hit
the layup and was fouled by Taylor.
"I thought we had a pretty good hold of (the game), then we had
a couple of turnovers in a row and a couple of bad shots in a
row," Duncan said. "They're a kind of high-octane offense, they
can shoot the ball and they can score. They just got back into
Morris and Cuttino Mobley
each scored 15 points for Houston,
which held a 49-39 rebounding edge but shot just 41 percent in
losing its second straight road game.
"I was really proud of the fight we displayed tonight," Rockets
coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We definitely gave ourselved
opportunities at the end to take the lead, but we just came up
The Spurs shot just 43 percent (32-of-74) from the floor, but
were on target from the free throw line. They hit their first
18 foul shots and 21-of-24 overall, while the Rockets sank eight
of just 10 shots from the stripe.
Trailing 48-41 at halftime, Houston narrowed the gap to 50-48 on
Mobley's bucket 2:19 into the third quarter. But Duncan scored
four points in a 7-2 spurt, including a dunk with 6:54 left
that restored the seven-point lead.