Tony Parker had 37 points and 12 assists as the San Antonio Spurs raced to a 93-76 victory over Texas rivals Dallas Mavericks in a Southwest Division showdown on Tuesday.
Parker, San Antonio’s offensive spark in the absence of injured standouts Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, had 26 points in the first half to help the Spurs to a 50-44 advantage.
The hot-shooting Frenchman provided 18 of the Spurs’ first 22 points, personally outscoring the Mavericks 18-11 in the opening eight minutes.
“After we found out Timmy was not going to play, I knew I was going to have to step up my game, be aggressive and make plays, make stuff happen, either for myself or my teammates,” Parker told reporters.
Even though he had cramps in both legs in the fourth quarter, Parker asked coach Gregg Popovich to keep him on the floor.
“I told Pop just leave me in and I will make stuff happen,” Parker said.
Forward Kurt Thomas, starting for Duncan, added 10 points and 15 rebounds with front-court mate Michael Finley, a former Maverick, contributing 16 points.
Josh Howard had 19 points for the fourth-placed Mavericks, who fell five and a half games behind the division-leading Spurs. Reserve James Singleton matched 14 points with an equal number of rebounds, while Dirk Nowitzki finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Duncan warmed up but did not play after his right knee bothered him. Ginobili is expected to miss another two weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury.
HEAT 103, PISTONS 91
At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 31 points and had a career-high 16 assists to lead the Miami Heat to a 103-91 win over Detroit — the Pistons’ seventh straight loss and longest slide in more than seven years.
Daequan Cook scored 16 points, Jermaine O’Neal added 14 and Jamario Moon added 12 for the Heat, who took control with a 22-8 run to close the third quarter and held on from there.
Allen Iverson scored 22 points and Tayshaun Prince added 18 for the Pistons (27-28), who fell under .500 this late in a season for the first time since 2000-01.
CAVALIERS 94, GRIZZLIES 79
At Cleveland, Daniel Gibson scored 19 points and Mo Williams added 18 to lead Cleveland over Memphis.
LeBron James, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, had 15 points in 30 minutes and didn’t play the fourth quarter, thanks to Cleveland’s big lead throughout the game.
Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick scored 13 points apiece for Memphis, who lost their fifth straight.
ROCKETS 98, TRAIL BLAZERS 94
At Houston, Ron Artest scored 21 points and Aaron Brooks had 20 as Houston moved past Portland in the Western Conference standings by beating the Trail Blazers.
Luis Scola had 15 points and 11 rebounds — his fifth straight double-double — for the Rockets, who came in trailing Portland by a half-game for fourth place in the West.
LAKERS 107, THUNDER 93
At Oklahoma City, Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 36 points in a 3-minute span of the fourth quarter as Los Angeles thwarted an Oklahoma City rally.
Bryant moved into 19th place on the NBA’s career scoring list, moving ahead of Adrian Dantley only one game after he passed Elgin Baylor for 20th. Entering the game, he had needed only 13 points to tie Dantley.
Kevin Durant scored 32 to lead Oklahoma City in their sixth straight loss.
BULLS 120, MAGIC 102
At Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 22 points as Chicago got strong efforts from their three newcomers in a victory over Orlando.