Parker, Duncan Lift Spurs Past Suns
Posted Nov 9 2006 2:06AM
San Antonio 111, Phoenix 106
SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 8 (AP) -- With flowing strands of hair held back only by a skinny fabric band, Spurs center Fabricio Oberto sometimes makes coach Gregg Popovich wince with the way he bounces and bumbles over the basketball court.
``He's the ugliest productive player I've ever been around,'' Popovich said. ``He looks like a bull in a china shop out there.''
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 29 points, while the 6-foot-10 Oberto added 22 on 11-of-11 shooting to lead the Spurs to a 111-106 overtime victory over the struggling Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
The Spurs (4-1) scored 10 of the first 12 points in overtime. Tim Duncan added 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Oberto, a native of Las Varillas, Argentina, also added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. One of those rebounds came with 35 seconds left on Boris Diaw's miss when the Suns were trying to cut San Antonio's lead to three points.
The Suns (1-4) went 2-of-6 from the floor during overtime. San Antonio hit 5-of-7.
Steve Nash had 20 points and 11 assists for his fifth double-double of the season. Raja Bell added 20 points for the Suns, who visit the Dallas Mavericks, their Western Conference finals foe from last season, on Thursday.
It's the Suns' worst start since losing 13 straight to open the 1996-97 season.
Both teams had chances to win at the end of regulation. Phoenix had the better shot when Bell hit a 3-pointer to cut San Antonio's lead to one point with 7 seconds left.
The Suns got the ball back by fouling Duncan and sending him to the free throw line, where he missed both shots.
Phoenix called time and inbounded to Bell, who drove the lane and was fouled by Oberto before he was able to get his shot off with 1.5 seconds left.
Bell made the first free throw before missing the next, leaving Duncan to miss a halfcourt shot as the buzzer sounded.
``We had a great shot at winning this game,'' Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``This was definitely a disappointing loss for our team. I consider tonight to be the first of many baby steps to be taken throughout the season.''
The Suns led by nine points with 5:28 left in regulation. In their previous losses - all on the road - Phoenix has had leads of 19, 15 and nine points.
San Antonio has found some energy with Oberto, who signed as a 30-year-old rookie free agent with the Spurs last year. He cracked the starting lineup this season after Rasho Nesterovic was traded to Toronto and Nazr Mohammed was lost to Detroit through free agency.
``He does all the fundamentals and all the basics,'' Popovich said, ``and he really knows how to play the game.''
With Phoenix trailing by two, Oberto made an easy basket underneath on a pass from Duncan with 2:33 left in overtime that started a streak of six straight Spurs points to end the game.
``We are knowing more of each other every game we play,'' Oberto said of playing with Duncan. ``I just try to get to the empty spot under the basket and hope he is going to see me.''
San Antonio's best chance to win in regulation came on Parker's three-point play on a fast-break drive and free throw with 39 seconds remaining. It gave the Spurs their first lead since early in the third quarter at 98-97.
The Spurs went ahead 101-97 on Duncan's basket underneath with 10 seconds to go. He was fouled by Bell, and he made the free throw before missing the two clutch foul shots with six seconds to go.
Amare Stoudemire added 16 for Phoenix in 15 foul-plagued minutes.
Stoudemire missed all but three games last season because of knee surgery. He was on his way to surpassing his tops in minutes played in a game this season of 25 until he experienced foul trouble.
He picked up his third foul in his 11th minute on the floor even though he scored 14 points in his first 12 minutes on 7-of-10 shooting.
He played 5:21 of the second quarter and scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, but he picked up his fourth foul in the first minute of the second half and his fifth with 1:57 left in the third quarter.
He fouled out with 4:17 left and missed overtime.
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