The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English Daily Parker sparkles in Spurs’ win
Los Angeles: With two of their brightest stars sidelined by injuries, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker seized the opportunity to sparkle in the spotlight.
‘The French Flash’ tossed in 26 of his 37 points in the opening half, and handed out a season-high 12 assists, carrying the short-handed Spurs past the visiting Dallas Mavericks 93-76 yesterday.
Without Argentine ace Manu Ginobili (stress reaction in his right ankle) and perennial All-Star forward Duncan (sore right ankle) a late scratch, Parker put on an entertaining one-man show.
The speedy All-Star guard made an assortment of spinning layups, soft floaters and long jumpers to keep his flat-footed Texas rivals off-balance throughout the runaway win.
“Sometimes I like it when Manu and Timmy don’t play,” joked Parker after hitting 15-of-32 field goals.
“I know we’re not going to win a championship, but for one game, I have the opportunity to show what I can do. My outside shot was going tonight, so everything was working out pretty well for me.”
Michael Finley scored all 16 of his points in the second half against his former team, while Kurt Thomas added 10 with a season-best 15 rebounds in place of Duncan as San Antonio (38-17) improved to 19-6 since January 1. The Spurs held the Mavericks to their fewest points of the season, while limiting German juggernaut Dirk Nowitzki to just 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, along with 10 rebounds. “Our main focus was to keep the ball out of Dirk’s hands,” Thomas explained. “He’s an unbelievable player; he shoots the ball extremely well. When he’s going, the Mavericks light up the scoreboard.”
Josh Howard scored 19, JJ Barera had 16 and James Singleton contributed 14 points with 14 boards off the bench for Dallas (33-23) which has dropped five of the last six meetings against the four-time NBA Champions.