SAN ANTONIO, Mar. 3 (Ticker) -- Tony Parker
stepped it up in the
absence of injured superstar Tim Duncan
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Parker had 17 points, seven assists and a career-high six steals
as the Spurs ran their winning streak against the Seattle
SuperSonics to six games with an 88-84 triumph.
Seattle was within 83-81 with 65 seconds left following a jumper
by Ronald Murray
. But Parker directed the offense effectively on
the ensuing possession, running down the clock before burying a
jumper from just inside the arc for a four-point advantage.
Murray and teammate Ray Allen
missed jumpers seven seconds
apart, and Parker made a free throw with 26 seconds remaining.
Murray missed a 3-pointer from the left wing with 12 seconds to
go before Robert Horry
made two free throws two seconds later to
seal the win.
"We made some shots down the stretch and made fewer mistakes,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Tony competed really well,
kept his head and played hard."
Parker's performance was even more impressive considering he was
coming off Monday's loss to Memphis in which he had just three
points on 1-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes. The Spurs have won two
of three games since Duncan went down with a left thigh injury
and Parker has played well in both victories.
"I'm not worried about bouncing back because I always feel I'll
bounce back whenever (Popovich) gives me the chance," said
Parker, who had 11 points and three steals in the final quarter.
"Tony has a history of coming back pretty well after a tough
game, he's a character guy, a competitive guy and he's beginning
to learn to not let things affect him," Popovich said.
Parker, who was object of a postgame tirade by Popovich on
Monday, understood the latest outburst.
"The day Pop stops screaming at me, I'll be scared because it
will mean he no longer wants me at the point in San Antonio,"
Murray had 24 points and Allen 21 for Seattle, which has not
beaten San Antonio since March 29, 2002.
"We tried to force the issue," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said.
"We had 20 turnovers and a lot of those were unforced. ... We
gave ourselves a chance to win, we just need to recognize
Seattle led 38-37 early in the third quarter, but a 3-pointer by
sparked an 18-6 burst. Turkoglu had eight points and
Horry, who finished with a season-high 14, chipped in six.