Parker carries Spurs past KingsApr 15, 2008 - 6:04 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Tony Parker collected his second double-double of the season with 32 points and 11 assists as the San Antonio Spurs staved off the undermanned Sacramento Kings, 101-98, at Arco Arena on Monday.
Parker scored 15 points in the third quarter to help the Spurs pull out to a brief double-digit lead. But the Kings refused to go away, closing the gap to 83-76 heading to the fourth.
"It was tough," Parker said. "Sacramento played a great game, made a lot of shots in the second half and just played good basketball. It was just a battle, a hard game. I'm just happy we ended up with a win. The West is so hard that we need to get as high a seed as possible."
Sacramento's Quincy Douby connected on a 20-footer, then followed with a 3-pointer that put the Kings up two with 6:55 left. Douby then forced a Spurs' turnover and delivered a thread-the-needle pass to a streaking Francisco Garcia for a dunk to make it 91-87.
"I was really impressed with (Sacramento)," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They are not going to the playoffs but they played for themselves and for their fans. It was a crazy game."
After John Salmons' layup gave the Kings their biggest lead at 93-87, Parker decided he'd seen enough. Last season's NBA Finals MVP buried a shot from the arc, then picked up a steal and drove in for a layup. Michael Finley scored on a layup moments later to put the Spurs on top 94-93.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan spent much of the fourth on the bench with five fouls but returned in the final minutes and tapped an offensive rebound to Fabricio Oberto for a basket that made it 97-95. Parker buried a 20-footer from the wing at the 1:08 mark that made it 99-95.
Garcia made a steal in the backcourt after a Kings' miss and fed Salmons, who converted a three-point play while drawing Duncan's sixth foul to cut the deficit to 99-98 with 14 seconds left.
Finley was fouled and converted both from the line with 12 seconds remaining.
"I thought (Finley) stayed focused," Parker said. "He had two big free throws and made them just after a tough turnover."
"I think we played well enough to win," Finley said. "There were a lot of correctable mistakes throughout the game that once we look back on film, hopefully we can carry on through the playoffs and not make those same mistakes."
Sacramento got desperation 3-point attempts from Garcia and Douby in the final seven seconds but could not convert and the Spurs escaped with the victory.
"At this point in the year, having our guys lace them up and play this hard is just a tribute to them," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "(Being) shorthanded and making teams that have won championships really coach to the end, that's a tribute to the players."
Salmons scored 29 points for Sacramento, which played without three injured starters - Ron Artest (thumb), Kevin Martin (knee) and Brad Miller (leg).
"I think we've shown a lot of heart (in recent games)," Salmons said. "We're playing against the best teams in the West and we're playing good basketball. It's too bad we couldn't get the win for the fans. It would have been great to go out with a win like that."
Former Spur Beno Udrih hit a 16-foot jumper from the wing to give Sacramento its first lead at 46-44 with 5:10 left in the second.
Parker then scored five quick points and dished an assist to spark a Spurs rally. Finley closed the half with a 3-pointer to finish a 10-0 run that gave San Antonio a 56-51 lead into the break.
SAN ANTONIO 101
SACRAMENTO 98 FINAL
Apr 15 12:35 AM
SAN ANTONIO 83
SACRAMENTO 76 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 14 11:56 PM
SAN ANTONIO 56
SACRAMENTO 51 HALFTIME
Apr 14 11:13 PM
SAN ANTONIO 36
SACRAMENTO 26 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 14 10:40 PM
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