PG Parker comes off bench for Spurs after missing 10 games
SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker returned from an ankle injury Friday against Memphis to give the resurgent Spurs their full complement of All-Stars for the first time this season.
Parker came off the bench in the second quarter in his first action since a Nov. 7 loss to Miami. He had been the NBA's leading scorer when he went down against the Heat.
Ginobili made his debut Monday at Memphis after sitting out the first month while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. He's averaged 13.5 points in his two games back.
San Antonio reunited its "Big Three" at a time when the Spurs are already one of the NBA's hottest teams. They entered Friday night's game winners of three straight and seven of their last nine -- all without Parker.
It's a lot better than most figured.
San Antonio stumbled out to a horrid start, losing four of its first five games. The Spurs struggled to find any offensive punch beyond Duncan and Parker, and their once-reliable defense had crumbled into one of the league's worst.
When Parker rolled his ankle along the baseline against Miami, the future looked only more bleak.
But San Antonio instead got back to its defensive emphasis -- the Spurs entered Friday ranked fourth in points allowed -- and George Hill emerged as one of the NBA's most surprising rookies. Hill has averaged nearly 12 points this season.
Parker had averaged 33.3 points in San Antonio's first four games, and scored a career-high 55 against Minnesota in the game before his injury.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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