SAN ANTONIO, May 8 (Ticker) -- Tony Parker
, Tim Duncan
and the San
Antonio Spurs were determined not to put themselves in an early
hole in another playoff series.
Parker scored 11 of his 29 points and Duncan 11 of his 22 in the
first quarter as the Spurs built a big early lead and cruised
to a 103-81 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in Game 1 of
their Western Conference semifinal series.
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The second-seeded Spurs had a lethargic opening game in their
first-round series against the Denver Nuggets and absorbed a
93-87 setback here. San Antonio rebounded to win the final four
games of the series.
In this one, San Antonio shot a scorching 67 percent (12-of-18)
in the first quarter behind Duncan and Parker to open a 35-24
"I thought Tony was awesome in the first quarter," Duncan said.
"He was very aggressive out of the gates. He found the seams,
he got right to the basket and he just got layups. It was just
a great start to get us out."
"Tony was very aggressive, very focused to start the game and
really tried to make things happen," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "We played good 'D' to start the game, hit the board and
he took advantage of it, and really pushed it on the break and
looked for opportunities. When he does that, we're a much
better scoring team, so I was really pleased the way he started
The advantage was 35-26 before the Spurs embarked on a 23-2 run,
opening a whopping 58-28 cushion when Parker split a pair of
free throws with 2:23 remaining in the first half.
"I just wanted to make sure as a team that we don't make the
same mistake against Denver, come out flat in the first game,"
Parker said. "And I thought we did a great job tonight being
aggressive, playing great defense and controlling the boards."
In a 30-second span early in the burst, the third-seeded
SuperSonics lost forward Vladimir Radmanovic
and All-Star guard
- who averaged 32.4 points against the Sacramento
Kings in the first round - to sprained right ankles. X-rays
were negative for both players, but neither returned.
"The offensive end is where we get going and get our
confidence," Seattle coach Nate McMillan
said. "When you lose
Radmanovic and Ray Allen, two of your scorers and basically two
of the guys that you were counting on to attack this team ...
you do lose a little bit of your energy."
All-Star forward Rashard Lewis
scored 19 points to lead Seattle.
He also went down with a groin injury with just over two
minutes remaining in the third quarter, but returned for the
Just about the only highlight for Seattle was forward Nick Collison
's banked shot from the opposite foul line at the
third-quarter buzzer, which reduced its deficit to 75-57.
Seattle allowed San Antonio to shoot 58 percent (23-of-40) in
the first half and 51 percent overall (35-of-89).
The SuperSonics, who trailed at the break by a whopping 62-35,
outscored the Spurs in the second half, 46-41.
"It was a great first half, lousy second half," Popovich said.
"(But) we got the win. Let's move on to Game Two."
Game 2 is Tuesday.