Parker, Spurs cruise by HawksJan 1, 2007 - 12:22 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tony Parker wanted the Atlanta Hawks to continue to come up empty in San Antonio.
Parker scored 27 points and handed out five assists as the Spurs posted a 95-81 victory over the Hawks, beating Atlanta for the ninth straight time at home.
Manu Ginobili had 18 points and Tim Duncan added 17 and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which remains a half-game behind Dallas for the best record in the NBA.
"The Spurs are a championship-caliber team," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "They figured out three or four years ago how to win and defend at home. And they're a veteran team."
Brent Barry scored 12 points and fellow reserve Matt Bonner had eight and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 46 percent (37-of-80) from the field and outscored the Hawks, 54-26, in the paint.
"I thought (Duncan, Ginobili and Parker) led the way pretty much and everyone else followed," Popovich said. "Matt Bonner gave us energy off the bench. It was a good win."
Parker scored 20 of his total in the paint and shot 10-of-19 from the floor, while Ginobili missed just two of his 10 attempts for San Antonio, which was playing with an under-the-weather Duncan, who was suffering from a stomach flu.
"I didn't think Tim would play," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He said he felt good. We took him out at the end of the first quarter, but he said he felt good. Let's hope it continues that way on the road trip and doesn't go backwards."
Duncan missed the morning shootaround and was questionable for the contest, but played a total of 30 minutes and made 7-of-12 shots.
"Duncan did a great job, especially the way he was feeling yesterday," Ginobili said. "So I was surprised. I didn't expect to see him contribute so much."
"They have Duncan, who I think is the premier center in the league next to (Shaquille O'Neal)," Woodson said. "They have an ace in the hole and a pretty good supporting cast around him. Parker does a tremendous job in running the show."
Joe Johnson scored 23 points and Josh Childress added 19 and 10 rebounds off the bench for Atlanta, which has lost a season-high seven straight games.
"We just need to get that one win," Hawks guard Speedy Claxton said. "The first win will take the pressure away and the team can focus on basketball. When we learn how to win and get it together, we can get back in the race."
"We're a young basketball team," Woodson added. "We have no consistency and no chemistry that we had earlier in the year."
Johnson did show improvement over his previous three games in which he tallied just 33 points. Against the Spurs, the 6-7 swingman shot 8-of-21 from the field but did commit nine turnovers for the Hawks, who shot 39 percent (29-of-74).
SAN ANTONIO 95 FINAL
Dec 31 5:53 PM
SAN ANTONIO 67 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 31 5:19 PM
SAN ANTONIO 42 HALFTIME
Dec 31 4:37 PM
SAN ANTONIO 20 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 31 4:09 PM
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