Spurs Beat Suns in West Finals Rematch
San Antonio 97, Phoenix 91
SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 19 (Ticker) -- Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs once again got the best of Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns at the end.
Parker scored 19 points, including a clutch jumper with 36 seconds remaining, and Tim Duncan had 24 and 12 rebounds as the Spurs posted a 97-91 victory over the Suns.
Phoenix also had to play the second half without starting guard Leandro Barbosa, who suffered a sprained left MCL at the end of the second quarter and did not return.
"That's why we lost tonight, because our offense wasn't high-octane," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We also played one of the best - if not the best - defense (in the Spurs). We fought and we had chances to win, but we couldn't get it done. We'll get better and figure things out and hopefully guys can get healthy and we'll be OK."
Despite the injuries, the Suns stayed with the Spurs until the final minute, with Shawn Marion's dunk cutting the deficit to 92-91 at the 1:27 mark.
"Phoenix came out with a lot of intensity and fought hard tonight," Duncan said. "I'm just glad that we were able to get a win."
After two empty possessions, Parker went 1-on-1 with Nash and hit a tough turnaround jumper over the reigning MVP for a 94-91 lead with 36 seconds remaining.
"Tony finally woke up and competed his butt off," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Parker, who did not speak to the media after the game. "He got a couple of loose balls and had a good play on Steve Nash there at the end. He made a great play on his own. The play we called at the end broke down and it was all him."
Nash attempted to answer on the other end, but his jumper over Parker bounced off the rim. Robert Horry grabbed the rebound and hit a pair of free throws to push the advantage to five points.
"Down the stretch we had the shots and we just didn't hit them," Nash said. "We didn't get a lot of bounces that went their way. We missed some wide-open shots."
Jim Jackson missed a forced jumper with 10 seconds to go, and Parker made 1-of-2 from the line to seal San Antonio's fifth win in as many home games.
"The game got more exciting as it went along," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "It was a big game for us and for them. It was great for us to get a win tonight. Usually we are strong at home. ... We hope to continue to do that."
Marion had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Nash contributed 14, 10 assists and eight boards for the Suns, who scored 19 points on the fast break and 52 in the paint.
"We played a good game, but it still doesn't feel good to lose," Nash said. "We're just going to keep our heads up and stay positive and hope it comes around."
Barbosa scored 14 points in the first half to help the Suns build a 53-47 lead. However, Ginobili rolled over his knee after Beno Udrih missed a jumper at the buzzer.
Ginobili and Duncan scored six apiece in the third period to give the Spurs a 78-73 edge entering the final period.