CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 8 (Ticker) -- Even without Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs performed like a well-oiled machine.

Tony Parker scored 20 points as the Spurs won for the ninth time in 10 outings with a 104-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in their first meeting.

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Duncan, a two-time NBA MVP, sat out for the first time this season with a sprained right ankle and will also miss Wednesday's contest at Washington.

Without their superstar, the Spurs never trailed and got seven early points from the returning Rasho Nesterovic to jump out to a 16-5 lead. The expansion Bobcats shot just 26 percent (6-of-23) from the floor in the first quarter.

"We knew that even though they are not supposed to be a good team that we had to make sure they didn't get confident and stay in the game," Spurs All-Star guard Manu Ginobili said.

"Rasho was on fire for us," Parker said. "He played very good, especially early in the game. He gave us that extra weapon that we needed inside since Timmy was not playing tonight."

The Spurs are hoping to get production out of Nesterovic while Duncan is out. Nesterovic notched double-doubles in all six games Duncan missed last season.

Parker scored 10 points in the third period, including a driving layup with 27 seconds remaining to extend San Antonio's lead to 78-53.

"We played very unselfish tonight," Parker said. "Everybody was sharing the ball. It was moving and the transition was the key tonight. We had to play a little more up-tempo because Timmy wasn't playing."

Charlotte showed some life in the fourth quarter by going on a 17-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Jason Hart to cut the deficit to 85-72 with five minutes left.

Nesterovic, who was activated from the injured list before the game, and Devin Brown scored 15 points apiece and Ginobili added 12 for San Antonio, which had a 49-38 rebounding edge.

"I thought we had a good game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I was really pleased with our performance because Charlotte is so well-coached and plays so aggressively. It's a team that's earned a lot of respect."

The Spurs raised their record to a league-best 39-10 and made it three straight wins on their seven-game, 17-day road trip that takes them to both coasts before returning home after the All-Star break.

Even without Duncan, the Bobcats were outmatched by the league's best team.

"We caught them on a day when everything was clicking," Charlotte forward Melvin Ely said. "It kind of helps us when teams come in here and overlook us. But great teams like the Spurs, they come out and execute even with the best player gone."

Jason Kapono came off the bench to score 17 points and Primoz Brezec added 14 for the Bobcats, who have lost 20 of their last 23 games.

"If you're going to try and beat them, you definitely have to make shots," Kapono said. "In the first half, we didn't make them and that's why we were down so quickly."

The Bobcats, who just returned from a four-game road trip, were down to just eight healthy players at the end of the game.

"Hopefully we can get some rest and try to get some guys back as quick as possible," Kapono said. "The bottom line is we have to play with who we have."