Parker had 18 points and a season-high nine assists, leading San
Antonio to a 99-81 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
The slick point guard, who signed a $66 million contract extension
just before the season began, was held to four points or less and
four assists in two of his previous three games.
"I was trying to be more aggressive and tried to get everybody
involved," Parker said. "I found a lot of my teammates a lot of
open shots, and my shot will come back maybe."
San Antonio improved to 6-1 and finished with 25 assists to 14
for New York.
"They're an unselfish group of guys, and they're getting better
and better," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Parker also played tight defense on Knicks point guard Stephon
Marbury, who managed only three shots and three points in the first
half. Marbury, who has dominated Parker in past matchups, finished
with 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
The Knicks' starting five shot only 38 percent, but Marbury
blamed the one-sided outcome on New York's inability to get back
against the Spurs' running game.
"The transition defense was horrendous tonight," he said.
"You have to do it on both ends. Your offense can't create your
defense -- your defense creates your offense."
Tim Duncan had 17 points and 10 rebounds. He sparked a key burst
in the third quarter that pushed San Antonio's lead into double
Bruce Bowen, coming off a career-high 22 points at Atlanta on
Saturday, added 13. Brent Barry had 12 for the Spurs -- including
3-for-5 shooting on 3-pointers.
The Spurs, who led by six at halftime, shot 52 percent after the
break while holding the Knicks to only 36 percent in the second
half. Still, New York pulled to 54-52 with eight minutes left in
the third quarter on a tip-in by Nazr Mohammed.
But Duncan made a 12-foot turnaround jumper to start a 13-4 run
for the Spurs, and the lead rarely fell below 10 points thereafter.
Another 13-4 burst midway through the fourth quarter increased
San Antonio's advantage to 91-73.
"Tim Thomas is trying too hard right now," New York coach
Lenny Wilkens said. "He just has to let it happen."
Mohammed had 13 points for the Knicks but shot 4-for-11. Kurt
Thomas had 11 rebounds.
New York dominated the opening quarter and the Spurs took over
in the second.
A free throw by Jerome Williams gave New York a 24-17 lead, its
biggest of the night, but San Antonio came back with a 13-3 run to
take the lead for good.
The Spurs extended their advantage to 50-42 on a 3-pointer by
Manu Ginobili with about two minutes left in the half.
The Spurs made 29 of 33 free throws (93.8 percent). Coming
into the game, they were shooting only 70 percent at the line,
among the worst in the NBA. ... Barry, signed for his perimeter
skills, has made at least one 3-pointer in all seven Spurs games
this season. ... The Knicks are 9-24 in San Antonio. ... New York
will complete the Texas Triangle with games in Dallas on Thursday
and Houston on Friday.