Parker leads Spurs to victory

Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2004

SAN ANTONIO Tony Parker gave the San Antonio Spurs a big cushion early, and when the Los Angeles Lakers made a move it was Parker who snuffed it out.

Parker scored eight of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, including a stunning crossover move against Devean George that ended the Lakers' final rally in San Antonio's 95-85 victory Wednesday night.

''I was in attack mode and just tried to get shots for me and my teammates,'' said Parker, who also had five assists. ''I just want to keep winning. I just want to focus on beating the Lakers.''

San Antonio holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which resumes in Los Angeles on Sunday.

''Now we have to go home and get it done in our comfort zone,'' said Karl Malone, who scored 15 points for Los Angeles. ''We have to fight our way back into this series.''

The Lakers, led by Shaquille O'Neal's inside scoring, slashed a 16-point halftime deficit to 80-78 with more than six minutes left, and the momentum was clearly in their favor.

But Parker made a pair of free throws and a short floater over O'Neal after his crossover move on George to rebuild the lead to 88-80, and the Spurs' defense then made some timely stops.

''It looked to me like we ran out of gas again tonight,'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. ''We didn't have enough left for the last four minutes.''

Parker, who had 16 points in the first quarter when San Antonio took the lead for good, shot 13-for-23. Tim Duncan finished with 24, but he didn't score in the fourth quarter despite the Spurs dumping the ball into him on most of their early possessions.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Duncan's lack of points down the stretch demonstrated his team's versatility.

''For us it's better to do it out of our team offense and see what happens,'' he said. ''Maybe its Tony's night, or Manu's or Hedo (Turkoglu)'s.''

Manu Ginobili added 15 points for San Antonio, which has won 17 straight games since late March.

O'Neal led all scorers with 32 points, while Kobe Bryant had 15 points on 7-for-17 shooting.

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