With Duncan scoring 23 points and Parker getting 10 of his 19 in
the fourth quarter, the San Antonio Spurs beat the slumping Seattle
SuperSonics 106-95 on Wednesday night.
The Spurs won their third straight game and handed the Sonics
their third consecutive defeat and their seventh loss in nine
"I'm trying to be consistent," said Parker, the Spurs'
second-year starting point guard from France. "That's the key. You
have to be consistent. In the second half, I had to wake up."
Steve Kerr had 10 points for San Antonio in the final period.
The Spurs led only 81-78 before going on a 13-0 run in the final
quarter. Kerr opened the spurt with a 16-footer and Parker followed
with a pair of fast-break layups before Kerr connected with a
3-pointer with 5:53 on the clock.
Parker followed with another fast-break layup, a 15-footer and a
driving 5-footer to put San Antonio ahead 96-78 with 3:11 left.
"I just want to have good games every time," Parker said.
"Not up and down. God gave me a lot of ability and they want me to
do more this season. I have to show up every night."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich agreed with Parker's assessment.
"He's a talented kid," Popovich said. "It's a matter of
consistency with him and he's learning."
Parker, 20, said he's benefitted from the addition of Kerr, a
15-year veteran, to the Spurs this season.
"He's got the experience and he's a very good shooter," Parker
said. "Every time he's got a wide-open 3-point shot, I try to find
him. He was huge for us tonight."
Duncan, who also had nine rebounds and six assists, pointed out
Parker made only one turnover in the second half after having five
in the first half.
"I think the key to us playing and winning games is taking care
of the ball,"
The Sonics were disappointed in their own performance, which
dropped their record to 6-8 at the Key Arena. They're 0-8 when
their opponent scores more than 100 points.
"We get paid to play hard every night," Seattle's Jerome James
said. "We don't get paid to go out and play like babies. Any time
you take an L, it is very, very frustrating. I can't think of
anything we did good tonight."
The Sonics' Kenny Anderson tried to be more positive.
"Growing pains, really," Anderson said when asked why the
Sonics were losing now after getting off to an 8-2 start. "We just
have to try to get everybody on the same page."
San Antonio matched its previous biggest lead, 14, when Steve
Smith connected with two free throws after being fouled by Mason
with 1:30 to go in the third quarter to made it 75-61. The Spurs
were ahead 77-68 at the end of the quarter as the Sonics were
limited to 17 points in the period, shooting 7-for-18.
Trailing 42-30 after a fast-break layup by Emanual Ginobili with
6:25 left in the first half, the Sonics went on an 18-2 run to go
ahead 48-44 with 40.4 seconds remaining. Mason scored nine of the
points. Seattle led 51-49 at halftime.
The Spurs got two 3-pointers each from Bruce Bowen and Smith in
the final 3:35 of the first quarter to lead 27-18.
"I think all of us are frustrated," Sonics coach Nate McMillan
said. "The bottom line is that we have to get it together and find
a way to get this thing going in the right direction before it just
snowballs out of control."
McMillan gave C Vitaly Potapenko his first start of the
season, replacing Predrag Drobnjak at center. It was Potapenko's
ninth game of the season after missing the first 24 games while
rehabilitating from left knee surgery. He had eight points and nine
rebounds. Drobnjak, averaging 10.1 points, scored four points in
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Brian Windhorst reports from Las Vegas, where Kevin Durant took the court with his new Warriors' teammates and Paul George shined in his return in Team USA's exhibition win over Argentina.