Spurs 113, Raptors 106

While ”Linsanity” consumes the NBA, not too many people are

paying attention to San Antonio’s winning streak.

That’s just fine with the Spurs. They don’t mind flying under

the radar.

Tony Parker had 34 points and 14 assists, and the Spurs extended

their season-best winning streak to nine games with a 113-106

victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

”We’ve been on fire lately,” Parker said. ”We’ve been playing

very good basketball, moving the ball great.”

But are the Spurs the league’s unsung heroes? Not according to


”There’s no bigger story than Jeremy Lin right now,” Parker

said of the New York Knicks’ sensation. ”I’m happy for him. It’s

almost like you want to cheer for him. You want him to make every

shot. His story is like a movie and he’s performing every night

right now.”

Manu Ginobili, who scored 11 points in his third game back after

missing a month with a broken left hand, echoed Parker’s


”I think New York deserves all the attention after all they’ve

been through and what’s happening right now,” Ginobili said.

”They draw attention from me: the New York game finishes and I go

to see what they did. It’s crazy.”

Danny Green scored 13 points and matched his career high with

seven rebounds and Tiago Splitter also had 13 points for the Spurs,

who have not lost since a 101-100 overtime defeat at Dallas on Jan.


But the winning streak is no big deal to the Spurs, who are

hoping for more important victories come playoff time.

”No one is walking around here talking about (the streak), no

one is sitting here focused on it,” said Richard Jefferson, who

scored 10. ”It’s more about how can we get better and how can we

improve going into the next game?”

Parker went 12 for 12 from the foul line for San Antonio, which

last won nine straight during a 10-0 stretch from Dec. 3-22,


”His 12 for 12 was really exciting because he works a lot on

his shot and to have him do that is a real confidence builder,”

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

The victory was the sixth straight away from home for the Spurs,

their longest run since winning eight straight road games to begin

the 2010-11 season.

San Antonio’s Tim Duncan failed to extend his run of five

straight double-doubles, finishing with eight points and three


DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points for the Raptors, who have lost

three straight and eight of 10. Jose Calderon added 16 points and

11 assists.

Toronto guard Jerryd Bayless missed his fourth straight game

with a sore left ankle, while forward Linas Kleiza was sidelined

with a sore left knee. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani sat for the

18th time in 20 games because of a strained left calf.

”We’re a little undermanned,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said

before the game. ”If anybody is looking for a 10-day (contract),

we’re looking for bodies.”

Toronto trailed by five points to begin the fourth, but used a

pair of baskets by Calderon and a driving layup by DeRozan to cut

it to one at 97-96 with 4:14 left.

San Antonio answered with a baseline jump shot by Gary Neal and

a pair of free throws by Parker, restoring their five point

advantage with 3:25 left.

Parker made all eight of his free-throw attempts down the

stretch as the Spurs improved to 23-9 all-time against Toronto.

Casey said Parker has developed into ”the whole package.”

”The last couple of weeks, he’s been playing at a big time

level,” Casey said. ”He’s one of my favorite players. He’s so

slithery and so quick and now he’s gotten a little strength. He

makes it tough to get into him and guard him in these situations.

Now he’s developed a jump shot, so you have to honor that.”

Green got all seven of his rebounds and made three of San

Antonio’s six 3-pointers in the opening half as the Spurs, who shot

6 for 10 from beyond the arc, led 55-45 at the break.

Toronto battled back by making its first 10 shots of the second

half. DeRozan scored 13 points in less than six minutes, including

two on a reverse alley-oop from Calderon, and the Raptors followed

with a layup from James Johnson that tied it at 66.

San Antonio answered with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes,

taking a 79-70 lead and forcing Toronto to call timeout. The Spurs

led 83-78 heading to the fourth.

Notes: Parker’s career high in assists is 17, set Jan. 23 at New

Orleans. … The Spurs, who evened their road record at 8-8, have

four games remaining on their season-long nine game road trip. They

don’t play again until Saturday against the Clippers, giving them a

couple of days at home to break up the trip. … San Antonio rookie

Cory Joseph became the eighth Canadian-born player to appear in a

game in Toronto. Cavaliers rookie Tristan Thompson, Joseph’s

college teammate at Texas, also played in his hometown on Jan.