Duncan, Parker, Ginobili carry Spurs past Rockets
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[December 29, 2012]
(AP) -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and the San Antonio Spurs snapped the Houston Rockets' five-game winning streak with a 122-116 victory on Friday night.
Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 points for San Antonio (23-8). Danny Green was 5 for 7 on 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.
James Harden scored 33 points, Chandler Parsons added 24, and Jeremy Lin had 21 for Houston (16-13).
After allowing the Rockets to shoot 55 percent through three quarters, the Spurs clamped down defensively in the fourth. San Antonio had seven steals in the period, and Houston shot 10 for 23 from the field.
Ginobili and Patty Mills made back-to-back 3s to push the Spurs' lead to 104-97. Mills also forced offensive fouls on Lin and Aldrich that helped San Antonio go on a 7-0 run.
San Antonio set season highs with 41 points in the first quarter and 69 in the first half but Houston kept pace with 63 before halftime
-- the most by a Spurs opponent this season.
The Spurs shot 67 percent in building a 21-8 lead in the opening 6 minutes.
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Cole Aldrich's running hook gave the Rockets their first lead at 65-64 with 1:05 remaining in the half. Ginobili made a 3 and a layup to stake the Spurs to a 69-65 lead at halftime.
Houston pulled within 77-73 with 7 minutes left in the third when Harden dunked on a 3-on-1 break. The lopsided defensive numbers led San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout and yell at Tiago Splitter, Duncan and Parker.
The Spurs turned up their defensive intensity late in the third, with Splitter earning applause from Popovich after teaming with Stephen Jackson to trap Harden and force a jump ball with the Rockets guard.
NOTES: Rockets P Patrick Patterson (bruised right foot) missed his seventh straight game. ... Parker is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent on 3s, and 80 percent on free throws. ... San Antonio has five winning streaks of at least 3 games this season. . While the Spurs rank first in total assists at 25.8 per game, Parker is the only player who has more than 10 assists in a game. He has done it six times.
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