Duncan, Parker, Ginobili carry Spurs past Rockets

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Gregg Popovich angrily called timeout after his San Antonio Spurs offered little resistance when Houston guard James Harden dunked on a 3-on-1 break.

Tiago Splitter was the first to hear Popovich's scorn, but the reigning coach of the year saved most of his wrath for Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. MVP, All-Star, reserve or sideline reporter, no one is protected from Popovich's ire.

His tirade led to the Spurs' fourth straight win.

Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and San Antonio snapped the Rockets' five-game winning streak with a 122-116 victory on Friday night.

Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 points for San Antonio (23-8).

"They were unbelievable," Ginobili said of Duncan and Parker. "I had a nice stretch early in the third quarter, but those guys have been great all season. I kind of joined in on the scoring. The main thing is that we beat another great team that has been rolling."

The Spurs beat Toronto on Wednesday to snap the Raptors' five-game winning streak.

It was the first time the Spurs had two players score 30 points in a game since Feb. 2, 2009, when Duncan and Ginobili both had 32.

Those points were needed against the high-scoring Rockets, who lead the NBA in scoring at 105.3 points per game.

Harden scored 33 points, Chandler Parsons added 24, and Jeremy Lin had 21 for Houston (16-13).

While the Spurs' "Big Three" were able to match the Rockets' production, it was the team's defense that was key.

After allowing Houston to shoot 55 percent through three quarters, the Spurs clamped down in the fourth. San Antonio had seven steals in the period, and Houston shot 10 for 23 from the field.

Ginobili and Patty Mills made back-to-back 3s to push the Spurs' lead to 104-97. Mills also forced offensive fouls on Lin and Aldrich to help San Antonio go on a 7-0 run.

"We got a group out there that did an excellent job of both sprinting back in transition, showing a crowd in full-court shell and getting guys off the 3-point line," Popovich said. "But, other than that period, we were pretty poor in that respect, and that's Houston's game. That's why they're kicking everybody's butt and scoring all these points."