for this game

Parker helps Spurs pummel struggling Bulls

Dec 27, 2007 - 5:46 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tony Parker scored 28 points and the San Antonio Spurs handed the reeling Chicago Bulls a 94-79 loss on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center.

Michael Finley added 15 points for the Spurs, who improved their Western Conference-leading home record to 15-1. In addition, they won without Manu Ginobili, who was out with a sprained left index finger.

Parker picked up most of the scoring slack, shooting 12-of-19 from the field in his second game back after missing four contests with a sprained left ankle.

"Tony has always been sort of a combo point guard," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We always would like him to score, that's basically who he is. It was a good win tonight. I thought we were very focused, the guys executed well."

Even with a new face walking the sideline, it was a familiar result for the Bulls, who have lost four of their last five.

"One of our biggest struggles night after night is giving enough effort to win games," Bulls interim coach Pete Myers said. "Losing is a habit we don't want to get accustomed to. We need some wins to regain our team's confidence."

With Scott Skiles fired on Christmas Eve, Myers was the one barking instructions from the bench on Wednesday. The Bulls managed to keep the contest close in the early going, finishing the first quarter with a 22-21 lead.

However, the advantage was short-lived as Parker and the Spurs began pulling away at the beginning of the second quarter.

San Antonio seized control with a 24-5 run to begin the second quarter to take a 45-27 lead with 5:02 left in the half. Parker scored eight points during the run and finished with 17 in the first half as the Spurs held a 51-39 advantage at the break.

"Lately, I have been just trying to create offense for myself and making the most out of opportunities that present themselves," Parker said.

"He's determined to penetrate," Myers said. "He doesn't let traffic slow him down. He was determined to break us down and get to the rim."

Chicago closed within eight early in the third but never got any closer. The Spurs built their lead up to as many as 25 in the fourth at 94-69 with just under four minutes remaining.

Bruce Bowen, Ime Udoka and Matt Bonner all finished with 12 points for San Antonio. Tim Duncan had eight points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich said the Bulls were trying different ways to defend San Antonio, most notably the pick-and-roll.

"The Spurs just adjusted," Hinrich said. "They just figure out how to get the job done. There were just some stretches where we definitely let it get away."

Joe Smith had a season-high 19 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Gordon added 18 to lead the Bulls.

Myers was disappointed in his bench's 19-point output - 13 coming from Chris Duhon - and said his team "played in spurts."

"It takes a collective effort for a solid 48 minutes to contain those guys, and tonight, we didn't have that," Myers said. "When you play a team as solid as the Spurs you need a good effort from the bench. Tonight our bench really hurt us."

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