Spurs Top Clippers Without Injured Parker
San Antonio 98, L.A. Clippers 87
LOS ANGELES, March 28 (Ticker) -- With leading scorer Tony Parker sidelined for the first time this season, the rest of the San Antonio Spurs picked up the slack.
Tim Duncan scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Michael Finley added 20 points as the Spurs snapped the Los Angeles Clippers' four-game home winning streak with a 98-87 victory.
However, the Spurs (55-16) had very little trouble without their floor general and moved one game ahead of Dallas in the Southwest Division and Western Conference. They also improved to 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
"Tony is a big part of our success so far this season," Finley said. "Tonight, everyone had to step up and do something that he would usually give us during the game as far as assists and points. Everyone did that tonight."
"We have some good moments and some bad moments, but it's not like we are playing bad," Spurs forward Robert Horry said. "We missed Tony tonight but we played well tonight when we had to."
Sam Cassell opened the third quarter with three consecutive baskets and Chris Kaman converted a three-point play to give the Clippers a 51-50 lead with 8:44 to go.
The Spurs responded with a 13-0 run to take a 63-51 advantage. Manu Ginobili began the burst with a basket, Brent Barry nailed a 3-pointer and Duncan capped spurt with a layup.
Shaun Livingston made a pair of free throws and a short jumper to bring the Clippers within 66-61 with 1:36 left before Barry buried a 3-pointer and Nazr Mohammed hit a 12-footer with 52 seconds remaining.
"We got good looks and missed them," Cassell said. "They got them and made them. They hit their threes and we missed some wide open threes. If we make shots, it is a whole different game."
Finley and Duncan warded off any potential comeback by the Clippers with eight points apiece in the fourth quarter.
"We couldn't hit shots," Los Angeles forward Corey Maggette said. "It is as simple as that. We missed layups here and there and missed easy shots. It was just one of those days. You put yourself in position to take shots and you miss them."
Barry scored 11 points for San Antonio, which had a season-high 32 assists and made 10-of-25 from the arc.
"The Clippers got us the last time we were here," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Tonight, I thought we were much more aggressive defensively and I think it helped us out. We are thrilled to get this win."
"We are still lacking the consistency we want to have over a 48-minute period," Duncan said. "For stretches tonight, we rotated well, we challenged shots but we did give up too many offensive rebounds. That was probably due to the rotating we were doing."
Failing in a bid to clinch their first winning season in 14 years, the Clippers (41-29) are in fifth place in the West, one-half game ahead of Memphis.
Elton Brand had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Kaman scored 18 points and Maggette added 16 and 11 for the Clippers, who shot just 38 percent (28-of-74), including 1-of-10 3-pointers.
"I saw the double-teams early and tried to kick it out and find the open man," Brand said. "I have a lot of confidence in my teammates. But tonight, we didn't make shots, including myself. I missed a number of shots that are easy for me and that usually I knock down."
"Elton has been talked about as MVP and he really hurt us the last time he was here," Popovich said. "We double-teamed Elton and that forces the rest of their team to make shots. Fortunately, it worked out well for us tonight. Maybe next time, they'll make shots."