France’s Tony Parker capped off a two-night scoring explosion with 39 points as San Antonio won their second straight without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, a 99-84 win over Portland.
“He was a super stud,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Parker. “He generated the offense for us, and his leadership on the floor was exceptional. He mixed it up really well as the game went on.”
Duncan was diagnosed with right quadriceps tendinitis prior to the game and is listed as day-to-day, while Manu Ginobili is out for the next few weeks due to a stress reaction in his right ankle.
“I prepared myself today,” Parker said after Wednesday’s game. “I drank a lot of water because the other game Pop [Popovich] told us 40 minutes before that Timmy was not going to play, so today I knew he was not going to play so I prepared myself to play for 40 minutes.”
Matt Bonner had 15 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, who have won four straight overall, the last two in their return home from a 5-3 road trip while the rodeo was at the AT&T Center.
Those wins have come thanks to a more offensive-minded Parker, who has shot 32-of-59 from the field in the last two nights.
The Spurs used Parker’s play to post a win over the rival Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday as he scored 37 points before dismantling another conference foe in this one.
Channing Frye collected 15 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers, who played without center Greg Oden (left knee) for the fifth straight game.
Portland dropped its 11th straight against San Antonio, who combined to outscore their opponent 55-38 in the first and third quarters to set the tone for the halves.
Most of that stellar play was spurred on by defense, something that Popovich said is the catalyst for his team’s success.
“If we’re going to do anything at the end of the year, we have to improve our defense,” the coach said. “The last four games we’ve been the defensive team we’ve been in the past. If we continue that way on the whole, by the playoffs we’ll be a pretty good team.”
At the end of third, Parker nailed a running three-pointer as time expired to push the Spurs’ lead to 11.
But the Blazers made one final push, cutting their deficit to four on Travis Outlaw’s jumper with five minutes left in the final quarter.
San Antonio, however, had an emphatic answer.
Bonner drilled a three, and Parker scored the Spurs’ next six points, sandwiching two deep jumpers around a driving layup and forcing a timeout by the Blazers.
After the break in action, Bonner and Parker went back to work. The redheaded sharpshooter added a jumper before the Frenchman connected on two free throws and short shot that forced Blazers coach Nate McMillan to halt the action once again.
Brandon Roy scored just 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting and LaMarcus Aldridge added 13 for Portland, who shot a paltry 38 percent (32-of-85).
NUGGETS 110, HAWKS 109
At Denver, Chauncey Billups scored a season-best 33 points as Denver edged Atlanta.
The Hawks had trimmed a 110-102 deficit in the final 90 seconds, but Flip Murray’s shot clanked off the rim.
Marvin Williams led Atlanta with a season-best 31 points.
CLIPPERS 93, CELTICS 91
At Los Angeles, Zach Randolph scored 30 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over Boston.
Randolph hit a layup with 20 seconds remaining to give Los Angeles a 92-91 lead. Boston’s Paul Pierce missed a 17-footer from the top of the key with 10 seconds left. Randolph was fouled after an inbounds play and made one free throw with 6 seconds left.