San Antonio wins series 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

San Antonio wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 22nd
Game 2: Tuesday, April 25th
Game 3: Friday, April 28th
Game 4: Sunday, April 30th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 2nd
Game 6: Friday, May 5th

Kings 88

(44-38, 17-24 away)

Spurs 122

(63-19, 34-7 home)

Coverage: FSSW

4:30 PM ET, April 22, 2006

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 24 15 28 2188
SA 32 41 21 28122

Top Performers

Sac: M. Bibby 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

SA: T. Parker 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

Parker scores 25 as Spurs demolish Kings in Game 1

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- No matter how far the San Antonio Spurs go in search of another NBA title, Tony Parker thinks they might never match their practically perfect first half in their first playoff game of the spring.

The Sacramento Kings? They were already thinking about Game 2 at halftime of this humiliating defeat.

Parker scored 25 points and Nick Van Exel added 11 in the decisive second quarter as the Spurs got their championship defense off to a blazing start, taking a 34-point lead at halftime on the way to a 122-88 rout of Sacramento on Saturday.

San Antonio's fleet-footed point guards led a 41-15 run in the second quarter, hitting basket after basket with unnerving ease. After the best regular season in franchise history, the top-seeded defending champs showed their game is still sharp for the second season.

"It's the playoffs, and everybody is focused, everybody is very motivated," Parker said. "Everybody was ready. We're not going to shoot the ball like that every night, but that was a good feeling. Game 2 is going to be different."

Parker already has two championship rings from his first five years with the Spurs, but he's a bigger part of the club this season than ever before. Even Tim Duncan, the three-time NBA Finals MVP, claimed he's a supporting player -- just "part of the puzzle" -- after Parker's latest dominant performance.

Parker's 9-of-11 first half was no surprise after his excellent regular season as the Spurs' leading scorer. But three 3-pointers from Van Exel, the seldom-used veteran guard who's retiring after this season, were shockers from which the Kings couldn't recover.

"I wasn't surprised, because that's what he does," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He relishes those situations. He likes to take those shots. Hopefully his body will allow him to continue to do that."

San Antonio, which lost its playoff opener to Denver last season, made eight 3-pointers and 68 percent of its first-half shots -- both franchise records for a playoff half. Ten Spurs scored at least six points apiece in the game, and Popovich still got to rest his stars for Game 2 on Tuesday in the best-of-seven series.

The second half was all garbage time in San Antonio's seventh victory in the last eight playoff series openers -- and the biggest postseason loss in the Kings' history.

"They beat the life out of us, basically," said Bonzi Wells, who had 12 points for Sacramento. "If we were playing somebody that hadn't won the championship, we'd be frustrated. But they're the defending world champions, and they were really hyped."

Duncan had 11 points and seven rebounds while sitting out the fourth quarter along with Parker, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry. Nazr Mohammed added 18 points and eight rebounds, hitting the second 3-pointer of his NBA career in the final minute.

Mike Bibby scored 17 points and Ron Artest had 16 on 7-of-21 shooting for the Kings, whose newfound defensive intensity is lost again after Artest labeled his surging club as "the team to beat" in the first round.

Artest had nothing to say after the game: He was hit flush in the mouth by Manu Ginobili's elbow while they scrambled for a loose ball on the Spurs' opening possession, and the resulting cut in his mouth required postgame medical treatment.

Sacramento entered the playoffs with 25 wins in its last 36 games, including nine of 11 to earn its eighth straight postseason trip. But the Kings were thoroughly outrebounded and outworked in their biggest defeat of the season, surpassing 26-point losses to New Orleans and Dallas.

It also was the biggest margin of defeat in the Kings' playoff history, besting a 30-point loss at Utah in the 1999 postseason opener.

"We didn't come out with anything tonight. They just brought way more energy than us," said Kenny Thomas, who had seven points. "Tony got off to a great start, and we didn't contain him at all. We just have to come in with a different approach, or maybe an entirely different game plan for (Game 2)."

Parker penetrated the lane at will from the opening minutes, and Ginobili also set the tone with several drives past Artest. Sacramento actually kept it close in the first quarter, trailing just 32-24 before Van Exel hit the first of his three 3-pointers to open the second.

San Antonio made a 12-2 run before scoring 14 consecutive points midway through the period, including eight more from Van Exel on a pair of 3s and two free throws.

The AT&T Center crowd was as stunned as the Spurs when Michael Finley's 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer rattled in and out, sending San Antonio to the locker room up 73-39. The Spurs hit six 3-pointers in the second quarter while outrebounding Sacramento 26-10.

Game notes

Kings F Shareef Abdur-Rahim had six points and eight rebounds in the first playoff game of his 10-season NBA career. Abdur-Rahim played in 744 games for four NBA teams before reaching the playoffs -- the second-longest drought in NBA history behind Tom Van Arsdale. ... Artest was down for several seconds after getting hit by Ginobili's elbow. He popped back up -- but not before a full timeout was called just 18 seconds into the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 88 122
FGM-FGA 33-84 (.393) 42-73 (.575)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 11-17 (.647)
FTM-FTA 17-20 (.850) 27-32 (.844)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-32 12-51
Assists 14 25
Turnovers 9 12
Steals 7 5
Blocks 0 6
Fast Break Points 11 14
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 37

Top Performers

San Antonio
Mike Bibby Bibby
Points: 17
Reb: 4
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Tony Parker Parker
Points: 25
Reb: 5
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0