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Parker, Spurs hold off late charge by Knicks

Nov 7, 2006 - 3:38 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- In a game of runs, the San Antonio Spurs made the most important one.

Tony Parker had 24 points and 10 assists and Brent Barry added 19 off the bench as the Spurs survived a late surge for a 105-93 victory over the slumping New York Knicks.

After trailing by 19 points with 8 1/2 minutes left, the Knicks made things interesting down the stretch. Stephon Marbury connected on back-to-back jumpers to cap an impressive 20-2 surge, cutting the deficit to 92-91 with 4:05 left. He finished with 18 points.

"We continued to play. We had no choice but to continue to play," Marbury said. "The guys that were out there got us back in the game and when we came back in the game we had no choice but to play with the same intensity."

However, San Antonio responded as Parker drained a jumper, Tim Duncan converted a three-point play and Parker hit his second 3-pointer of the game to restore order for the Spurs.

"I thought we slowed down in the last eight minutes," Parker said. "We had to slow it down to make sure we ran our offense and go through Timmy. We got a lot of open shots and hit them so we had a chance to stay ahead."

"In the NBA, a coaches nightmare is going up big in the first half because you know its going to turn at some point," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It's just too many possessions, too many 24-second clocks and the emotion shifts very quickly. It's happened to all of us. It will continue to happen and it won't ever stop."

The Spurs' second burst of the game, a 15-0 run over a 2 1/2-minute span in the second quarter, gave them a commanding 45-24 lead with 5:59 left.

After starter Quentin Richardson and reserves Nate Robinson, David Lee, Malik Rose and rookie Mardy Collins, closed the first half on a 12-2 run, a frustrated Knicks coach Isiah Thomas started those five in the second half.

"We have to fight, scrape and scrap, and I thought our young guys, when they came in, maybe because they were a little naive about the lead and really didn't know who they were playing against, they only know one way to do it and that's to fight," Thomas said. "I thought they fought their tails off and consequently gave some of our veteran players the courage the fight."

"I knew a lot of what they run," said Rose, who played seven seasons with the Spurs. "So when they were calling plays I was trying to tell people what was coming."

Duncan and Manu Ginobili scored 15 points apiece for the Spurs, who shot 48 percent (36-of-75) from the field and made 13-of-23 3-pointers. San Antonio has won six of the last seven meetings against New York.

Richardson scored 18 points and Eddy Curry added 13 and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who shot 44 percent (32-of-72). New York has dropped three straight games since winning its triple overtime season-opener at Memphis.

Knicks guard Steve Francis did not return after intermission due to a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative. The former All-Star came down awkwardly on Bruce Bowen's foot following a made jumper in the first quarter. Francis finished with six points.

The game was tied, 9-9, with 7:06 left in the first period before San Antonio took the lead for good when Matt Bonner's shot from the arc capped a 12-3 surge.

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