Led by Tony Parker, the Spurs scored their first dozen baskets
in the paint in their 89-76 win over Northwest Division-leading
Seattle on Wednesday night.
Parker finished with 28 points, 16 of them coming within a few
feet of the hoop, and said he wasn't happy with his 11-point,
5-for-13 performance in San Antonio's previous outing, a 83-70 home
win over Houston.
"I just wanted to be more aggressive with my shot tonight,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker did a good job of running
the offense and involving backcourt partner Manu Ginobili.
"(Parker) was the real juice for us," Popovich said. "Manu is
Manu every night and competed to the nth degree. Together they gave
us what we needed."
Ginobili had 15 points for the Spurs, whose 34th home victory
matched the team record.
San Antonio improved its record to 3-2 since Duncan went on the
injured list with a right ankle sprain suffered March 20 in
Detroit. Seattle played a second straight game without Rashard
Lewis (right foot bruise), and Danny Fortson was out with a right
"Missing Danny Fortson was big for us," said the Sonics' Ray
Allen, who scored 14 points on 6-for-17 shooting. "With him if
Tony Parker is driving down that lane, Danny puts him on his
San Antonio let a 20-point lead after three quarters dwindle to
10 before shutting down the SuperSonics.
A three-point play by Ronald Murray midway through the fourth
quarter cut the Spurs' lead to 75-65. Parker then made two free
throws and a layup, and Brent Barry tipped in his own missed layup
to put San Antonio back up by 16 points with about four minutes
Seattle coach Nate McMillan soon sat down Allen, who was
pestered defensively all night by Bruce Bowen, and the SuperSonics
didn't threaten again.
The Spurs established themselves at the opening tip, when
Ginobili grabbed the ball and took it in for a spinning reverse
San Antonio used its inside scoring to quickly built a
double-digit lead, while on defense the Spurs confined Seattle's
offense to the perimeter. Seattle shot 6-for-19 (32 percent) in the
first period, with only six of its 18 points coming inside.
"We didn't control the middle -- we didn't control anyone in the
paint," McMillan said. "You can't wait to be more aggressive and
dig yourself a hole like we did tonight."
An 11-foot baseline jumper by Vitaly Potapenko capped a 9-0
Seattle run early in the second that cut the Spurs' lead to 31-27.
Ginobili then isolated on rookie Wilkins and beat him with a
driving layup to start a 16-4 burst for San Antonio, which led
51-35 at halftime.
Parker led all scorers with 16 at the break on 7-for-10
San Antonio signed G Dion Glover to a second 10-day
contract. He scored two points in 10 minutes. ... The Spurs also
sent F Linton Johnson III back to the injured list after he
aggravated a stress fracture in his left ankle that forced him to
miss the first 68 games of the season. ... Luke Ridnour, who had
averaged 14.2 points in his last five games, scored two points on
1-for-7 shooting. ... Seattle recorded a season-low seven assists.
Its previous low was 10 in December, also in San Antonio.