Spurs ride Parker's big quarter in winApr 10, 2007 - 4:40 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs would love nothing more than to burn the Phoenix Suns.
Tony Parker scored 18 of his 30 points in the third quarter as the Spurs downed the Portland Trail Blazers, 112-96, for their fourth straight victory.
San Antonio, which has won a league-best 21 of their last 24 games, moved to within two games of idle Phoenix (58-19) for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Parker, who hit the 30-point mark for the second time in three games, rested the entire fourth quarter.
"Everybody feels the same way, they want to start the playoffs," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We can use this time to work on a few things, but no matter how you slice it, people are thinking playoffs."
"We lost a lot of those games - Indiana, Milwaukee and Boston were our last three losses - so we have to make sure we stay focused," Parker said. "We never know, maybe we can catch Phoenix or maybe not, but we still have to win all our games."
Tim Duncan, named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, added 15 points, four rebounds, and three blocks.
The Spurs defeated the Blazers for the ninth consecutive time, losing last on November 9, 2002.
Portland, which trailed by as much as 16 points midway through the second quarter, worked their way back to tie the game at 58-58 by the middle of the third quarter on a jumper by rookie Brandon Roy. The Spurs followed with a 13-1 run, fueled by seven points from Parker.
"He (Popovich) was pretty mad (at halftime) because we had the lead and lost it pretty fast," Parker said. "In the third quarter, it was kind of happening again. We had to wake up and make sure we made some stops and make sure we got some easy baskets in transition and just play our game."
"I decided to be aggressive in the third quarter and make sure we didn't go down like 10 or 15 points because then it would be hard to come back in the fourth quarter."
Despite pulling to within 83-76 after three quarters, the Blazers hit only four of their next 13 shots over the next 9:51 and fell behind by as many as 26.
"The Spurs are a great team," Roy said. "They played great defense tonight. As a team, they really executed the fast break. We just ran out of gas. They kept making great runs but what do you expect from a championship team."
Jamaal Magloire and Jarrett Jack each scored 19 points for Portland, which has dropped nine of their last 13 games on the road.
SAN ANTONIO 112 FINAL
Apr 9 10:24 PM
SAN ANTONIO 83 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 9 9:52 PM
SAN ANTONIO 54 HALFTIME
Apr 9 9:06 PM
SAN ANTONIO 32 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 9 8:34 PM
- Thunder will try to bounce back after big loss to Warriors May 20
- Klay Thompson has carried Warriors this postseason May 19
- 24 teams set for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July May 18
- Cavs 9-0 in these playoffs, and joining rarefied NBA air May 18
- Blazers coach Terry Stotts agrees to 3-year extension May 16
- Defending champion Warriors expect tough task from Thunder May 16
- Capsule preview of the Warriors-Thunder West finals May 15
- Clarification: Stars fuel hope for mid-major prospects May 13
- Durant, Thunder beat Spurs and return to conference finals May 13
- Spurs unsure if Duncan or Ginobili will return May 13
- Thunder beat Spurs, advance to Western Conference finals May 13
- Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers look to bright future May 12