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article imageNBA: Parker leads Spurs to overtime win against Houston

By Lynn Herrmann     Jan 12, 2012 in Sports
San Antonio - Led by point guard Tony Parker’s near-flawless performance, the San Antonio Spurs got back on the winning track Wednesday night, hosting the Houston Rockets in a 101-95 overtime win.
Parker’s brilliant game Wednesday night included 45 minutes of slicing, cutting, passing, rebounding, and scoring, while committing just two turnovers. He finished the game with 28 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out eight assists.
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-backs and coming off road losses.
The Rockets blistered the Spurs in the first quarter, shooting 65 percent from the field, scoring 18 of their first-quarter points in the paint. They were led by Luis Scola’s 13 points, including several classic bank shots in the lane.
The Spurs defense, however, tightened up for the duration of the game, limiting Houston field goal shooting to 37 percent.
After playing a season-high 36 minutes the night before in the loss at Milwaukee, Tim Duncan, 35 and the oldest Spurs player, chalked up 38 minutes in the win over Houston. He moved up to 27th on the league’s list of all-time scorers, passing Larry Bird. He finished the game with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
The Spurs went over four minutes early in the fourth quarter without a basket before Parker hit a step-back jumper to put the Spurs up 76-75. The game was a seesaw for the rest of the quarter, and with 9.3 seconds left in regulation and the Spurs up 90-88, Houston came out of a time out with a designed play for Scola, who buried a driving runner off the back of the rim, tying it at 90 and sending it into overtime.
The extra stanza saw the Spurs miss their first six shots before taking the lead at 91-90 when Duncan split a pair of free throws with 2:40 to play. That was followed by a huge three-pointer from Richard Jefferson at the 1:09 mark, helping the Spurs hang on for the win.
Kawhi Leonard, the first-year player brought in from San Diego State for his defensive skills, had a line of 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s recent high praises for Leonard continued after the Houston game, stating, “It’s huge for us to have a guy on the team that can do similar things to what Bruce (Bowen) did in the past.  This young man has a lot to learn, but as I’ve said a lot of times, he’s very willing, he’s very versatile and I think he’s got the ability to be one heck of a player and he wants to be.  We’re excited about him,” MySA reports.
San Antonio improved to 7-4, with all seven wins coming on its home court.
Kyle Lowry led the Rockets with 22 points, followed by Scola with 20 points. Kevin Martin added 18 points, but went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.
More about NBA, San antonio spurs, Houston rockets, luis scola, Tony parker
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