Spurs 104, Pacers 97

Tony Parker says he’s been working on his shot, and it looks as
if it’s paying off.

Parker had 33 points and 10 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs
erased a 17-point deficit on their way to a 104-97 victory over the
Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Tim Duncan had 22 points for San Antonio (10-3), which closed
the game with a 17-2 run. Manu Ginobili scored 19.

David West scored 22 for the Pacers (6-8), and Paul George
finished with 15. George Hill collected 11 points and Roy Hibbert
had 10.

Parker made his first eight shots and scored 16 in the first
quarter. He put together a 15-for-23 night from the field and made
three of his four foul shots.

Parker said coach Gregg Popovich ”wanted me to be more
aggressive, take more shots, and so I’ve been working with Chip
(assistant coach Engelland), and the last two games, it’s been
working well for me.”

West scored seven points and Lance Stephenson had four as the
Pacers went on a 13-1 run to build a 70-53 lead with 6:35 to play
in the third. But Ginobili and the Spurs responded with an
impressive rally.

The 35-year-old Ginobili was seemingly everywhere, driving the
lane, taking shots from beyond the arc and finding his teammates
for open baskets. He scored seven points and Parker added six as
the Spurs closed the period with a 20-7 run.

”No panic,” Parker said. ”Obviously, Indiana was making a run
the third quarter. They were making great shots and playing great
defense, and we just didn’t panic. We just keep playing.

”In the third quarter, we cut it to four, so that was huge for
us. And then, in the fourth quarter, we started making stops, and
we made the shots that we needed.”

Indiana grabbed a 95-90 lead on Hill’s jumper from the
free-throw line with 5:30 to play. But the Pacers missed their last
11 shots, managing just two free throws by West down the

”I think we competed our tails off, but give credit to San
Antonio,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ”They executed better
than we did down the stretch and got the W.

”Our guys are playing good offensive basketball and executing
pretty well. That’s the game of basketball for you, though.
Sometimes, the ball doesn’t go in the basket.

Gary Neal fueled San Antonio’s final surge with two free throws
and a basket. Parker hit a jumper from the free-throw line and
Duncan followed with a jumper from the top of the key and a layup
after a scramble for a loose ball. Parker sank two free throws for
a 103-95 lead with 1:33 to play.

West made two free throws with 55 seconds left, but Parker hit a
foul shot with 25 seconds to go.

”He got us going the whole game,” Popovich said of Parker.
”He had double-digit assists, 33 points. He was phenomenal. He
played great D.”

George said Parker is tough to stop when he gets going.

”It’s hard to be able to get gaps and slow him down, because
they’ve got a lot of shooters spotting up,” he said. ”It’s kind
of pick your poison.”

”We couldn’t put the ball in the basket at the end. It just got
real difficult, for some reason. We got great looks. Sometimes, it
goes like that.”

NOTES: The Pacers sent rookies Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson
to the Mad Ants in Fort Wayne for two games this weekend. It’s the
first time the Pacers have assigned players to their NBA D-League
affiliate. . The Spurs have won five straight games at Indiana. .
The Spurs outscored the Pacers 48-36 in the paint, matching the
second-most points in the paint for an Indiana opponent this
season. . Led by a season-high eight by D.J. Augustin, the Pacers
dished out a season-best 27 assists.