Parker, Spurs dominate 2nd half in rout of Nets
NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Parker has been so outstanding lately that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called it "beyond an All-Star level."
Does that mean All-NBA? Maybe even MVP?
"I think he should be in every conversation for any award that's going to be given," Popovich said. "I don't think that is really tough to see. I mean, there's a group of guys, but he should be in that group as one of the guys that's playing the best in the league."
Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in another brilliant performance without his two sidekicks, and San Antonio dominated the second half to beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-86 on Sunday night.
Two nights after a loss in Detroit ended their 11-game winning streak, the Spurs got back on track quickly behind Parker, who fell short of his third straight 30-point game only because he was so good that he sat out the final minutes of the rout.
Danny Green added 14 points and Tiago Splitter had 13 for the Spurs, who were again without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili because of injuries as they beat the Nets for the fifth straight time and 19th in the last 20 meetings.
Parker, the Western Conference player of the month in January, may be appreciated more without them, but said he wants them on the floor with him.
"I don't care about getting my due and stuff like that. I'm in San Antonio, they always forget about me, so I get used to it," Parker said. "So I definitely prefer to have Timmy and Manu because that's how you win championships. You need more than one player to win championships. You need a whole team and I prefer winning championships than having my due."
Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Brook Lopez had 18 for the Nets, who were outscored 60-29 in the second half and lost for the sixth time in nine games. Deron Williams finished with 15 points, but was a distant No. 2 when it came to the best point guards on the floor.
"Their execution was excellent. Tony had a very, very good game. But offensively, the push wasn't there in the second half," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "A lot of the things that we did well, we stopped doing. We got very careless with the ball, turning it over, getting stripped, not finishing."
Duncan missed his third straight game due to a sore left knee, while Ginobili was out for the fourth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring. Popovich said he would be cautious with the two stars, knowing he needs them later this season.
They're not missing them now — thanks to Parker, who had no turnovers in 35 minutes.
"He's carrying the whole team, especially when Tim and Manu are out. He's doing everything on the court," teammate and fellow Frenchman Boris Diaw said.
Parker had 10 points and four assists in the third quarter, when San Antonio outscored Brooklyn 30-14 to turn a six-point halftime deficit into an 81-71 advantage. He'd had 31 points and eight assists in both of the previous two games, and just missed a fourth 30-point game in his last six.