SEATTLE (AP) -- Tony Parker was blunt in his own assessment. For
three quarters, he did very little to help San Antonio.
Parker's nearly perfect fourth quarter, however, kept the Spurs
perfect away from home.
Parker scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the
Spurs improved to 7-0 on the road with a 98-78 win over the Seattle
SuperSonics on Sunday night.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," Parker said. "The first
three quarters, I didn't get a lot of shots so I was just trying to
make something happen."
After sitting for nearly seven minutes, Parker re-entered with
9:14 left and the Spurs' lead down to 74-71. Determined to be more
aggressive, Parker scored 10 of the 13 points in a 13-2 run that
turned the close game into a rout.
The Spurs are the only unbeaten road team left in the NBA, and
the fourth team in the last 10 years to start 7-0 or better on the
road. The Spurs will be tested twice more on their current
three-game road trip -- Monday night at Golden State and Wednesday
Seattle made it interesting for three quarters, before Parker
took over, a message he got from coach Gregg Popovich.
"He told me to be more aggressive," Parker said. "Basically I
was doing nothing for three quarters, so he wanted me to shoot
Parker made 6 of 7 shots in the fourth, scoring three times
driving in the lane and three times on jumpers. The Spurs outscored
Seattle 27-15 and improved upon the best road start in franchise
history. San Antonio has won 12 straight regular season road games
dating back to last season.
Tim Duncan scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and made
team history, despite the efforts of Seattle's defense. The
eight-time All-Star became the third Spurs' player to eclipse
15,000 points in his career, joining David Robinson and George
Gervin. Duncan needed 10 points, and reached 15,000 when Nick
Collison was called for goaltending on Duncan's short jumper with
2:05 left in the first half.
Fabricio Oberto also made a significant contribution with 16
points, including San Antonio's first 10 of the second half.
"He's so intelligent as a player. He doesn't get enough credit
for that," Duncan said of Oberto. "He's not going to jump over
anybody or do anything like that. He will find open spots and will
make the right play just about every time."
Ray Allen led Seattle with 21 points and Collison added 15 off
the bench, but the Sonics' were held to a season-low 78 points and
Rashard Lewis was held to season-low eight points, 15 below his
Afterward, Seattle coach Bob Hill was extremely frustrated with
the play of his bench.
"There is no help for the first group," Hill said. "Our first
group missed a lot of shots around the basket because of their
length, which has been a problem for us. And as soon as we go to
the bench, it's just a struggle to score points."
Aside from Collison, Seattle got 10 points from its reserves.
Earl Watson made just 1 of 8 shots.
The Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, bothered by a lower back
contusion suffered in the third quarter of Friday's loss against
Dallas. Brent Barry picked up some of the scoring slack with all 12
of his points in the first half.
Oberto dominated his matchup with Seattle's Johan Petro, scoring
San Antonio's first 10 points of the second half. Oberto scored off
perfect passes from Duncan and Parker, then knocked down a 9-foot
jumper as the shot clock expired to give the Spurs a 57-41 lead two
minutes into the half.
"He knows how to play the position and Timmy is really enjoying
playing with him," Popovich said.
Luke Ridnour added 11 for Seattle, including a basket from his
knees in the third quarter. Ridnour lost his footing driving into
the lane, gained control of the ball and tossed in a 5-footer.
Seattle fell to 2-5 at home. ... Popovich doesn't expect
Ginobili to play Monday in Golden State, but is hopeful he'll be
ready for Wednesday's game in Utah. ... Two other teams in the last
10 years started 7-0 on the road _ Dallas in 2002 and Indiana in
2003. Houston started 8-0 in 1996. The NBA record is held by the
New York Knicks, who won their first 12 to start the 1969-70
Mazda top play goes to Celtics Jae Crowder for slamming down a one-handed dunk while being defended by four Hawks in the box.
The Los Angeles Rams kicked off the 2016 draft by picking Cal Bears' QB, Jared Goff, while the possible best prospect slips to the number 13 spot.
The Hawks slammed the door on Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics, but Boston has reason to be optimistic after playoff disappointment.