SAN ANTONIO, March 30 (Ticker) --
Picking up the slack for the injured
is becoming less of a foreign notion for Tony Parker
and Manu Ginobili
Parker scored 28 points and Ginobili added 15 as the backcourt
duo helped the San Antonio Spurs speed to an 89-76 victory over
the Seattle SuperSonics.
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The Spurs have won three straight games without Duncan after
losing their first three without their superstar power forward,
who suffered a badly sprained ankle 10 days ago and may miss the
rest of the regular season.
This one was sparked by Parker, a native of France, and
Ginobili, who led Argentina to a gold medal at last year's
Olympics. They combined to score all the points in a 10-2 run
that opened the game.
"I was aggressive tonight and got more confidence as the game
ran on with my outside shot," said Parker, who made 11-of-19
shots. "I was still mad about the way I played in our last game
against Houston. I was looking for my shot tonight and trying
to find my teammates and get everybody involved."
"Manu (Ginobili) is Manu every night for us and he competed hard
tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He gave us all the
energy he had tonight and competed."
San Antonio never looked back, opening a 31-20 lead after one
quarter as center Sean Marks
came off the bench to score eight
points. A New Zealand native, Marks had scored 27 points all
"It was great to get out on the court and help those guys
tonight," Marks said. "It's been a long time coming and the
outside jumper felt good tonight. I had been struggling the
last couple of games so it was nice to see some shots go down
After Seattle closed to 33-29 early in the second quarter,
Parker and Ginobili again collaborated on a surge. Ginobili
drained a 3-pointer before Parker found Robert Horry
for a dunk
and made two layups.
Ginobili sank two free throws to cap the burst at 44-29 with
3:50 to play.
The Spurs held a 51-35 lead, and the SuperSonics got no closer
than 13 points thereafter. Parker scored eight points in the
third quarter as San Antonio took a 68-48 lead to the final
Even without Duncan, the Spurs are still playing their usual
solid defense. They held the Sonics to 39 percent (30-of-77)
shooting and allowed less than 80 points for the second straight
game. San Antonio also limited All-Star sharpshooter Ray Allen
to 14 points on 6-of-17 from the field.
"We had good defensive performances from a lot of people,"
Popovich said. "We played good team defense and that fueled us."
"We have to get the ball and drive down the floor," Allen said.
"We have to run and go force the other team to make mistakes.
When teams put pressure on us, sometimes we settle for
Seattle's Ron Murray
scored 17 points as he started for All-Star
forward Rashard Lewis, who sat out with a bruised foot.
"We knew coming into this one that we had to keep them out of
the paint right from the start, the opening tip and Ginobili
took it right to the basket," Sonics coach Nate McMillen
"In the first quarter, Parker did it twice, Manu (Ginobili) did
it twice, their first eight points were layups. We gave up 50
points in the paint. We have to be more physical."
The Sonics (49-22) split the four-game season series with the
Spurs (53-18), who are chasing Phoenix and Miami for the
league's best record.