Friday, December 7, 2012
Parker leads balanced Spurs past Rockets 114-92
SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker had 17 points and seven assists, and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in a 114-92 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The Spurs had six players score in double figures while matching their season high with 33 assists.
Tiago Splitter scored 15 points and Gary Neal, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and Tim Duncan each added 12. Duncan also had a game-high 12 rebounds.
James Harden had 29 points, and Patrick Patterson and Toney Douglas each scored 10 to lead Houston.
It was Harden's first game in San Antonio since helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Spurs last season in the Western Conference finals. The fans certainly remembered Harden, who was booed heartily during pregame introductions and every time he shot a free throw.
It was clear early that Harden wouldn't help the Rockets to a similar result against the Spurs.
Parker keyed a quick start, scoring eight points and picking up two assists as San Antonio took a 10-point lead in the first 5 minutes.
Jeremy Lin had difficulty keeping up with Parker, who raced by him for three layups in scoring eight of the Spurs' first 10 points. Parker also made a pair of free throws during the run after being fouled by Lin on a layup attempt.
Lin finished with four points, four assists and two turnovers.
Harden kept the Rockets in contention early, scoring 13 points in the first quarter after being shut out in the opening 4 minutes. His 3-pointer pulled Houston to 14-13, but the Rockets never tied it.
Harden fueled another rally in the second half, scoring nine points to help Houston pull to 66-58 with 7:27 left in the third quarter. The Spurs responded with a 15-0 run, holding the Rockets scoreless for 4 minutes to essentially seal the game.
San Antonio outrebounded Houston 50-37 and outscored the Rockets 60-38 in the paint.
NOTES: Neal set a career high with his eighth start of the season. . Spurs swingman Stephen Jackson (broken right pinkie) and F Kawhi Leonard (left knee) both sat out with injuries. . Duncan had the 742nd double-double of his career. . Houston has lost 10 straight road games against Southwest Division opponents since a 91-89 victory at New Orleans on Feb. 27, 2011. ... Houston's Chandler Parsons went 0 for 4 from 3-point range, snapping his streak of making at least one 3 at 23 games in a row.