San Antonio's 95-74 win Friday night strengthened its chances at getting home-court advantage, at least for the first round of the playoffs.
Even without the third member of the Spurs' big three, Manu Ginobili, San Antonio led by double digits for all but 24 seconds in the second half. Ginobili was out with a mild strain in his left abductor, an injury he got in the loss against Phoenix on Wednesday.
"The fact that Manu was not playing I knew we had to try to do a little extra tonight and play a little bit more aggressive and try to get to the basket and get everybody involved," Parker said.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after the game that Ginobili is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Like most every game in the West (it's) another big challenge," Popovich said of Sunday. "You don't know what's going to happen in the West. You just have no idea."
After struggling offensively for their last three games, the Spurs were able to put up big numbers against the SuperSonics, who have the West's worst record. San Antonio shot 41-of-89 (46 percent) from the field and led by as many as 24 points.
"Their best player had a tough night," said Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo. "But they hang in on defense."
The Spurs struggled in the first half, hitting just 25 percent from the field in the opening quarter, while the Sonics jumped out to as big a lead as nine points.
San Antonio was unable to take a substantial lead until the closing minutes of the half, when it had an 8-0 run. With just seconds to go, Jacque Vaughn kicked the ball out to Michael Finley in the corner for a 3-pointer that gave the Spurs a 45-37 lead at the break and shifted the momentum their way.
Finley finished with 14 points.
"We came out of a timeout tied at 37 and we just did a real poor job closing out the half," Carlesimo said.
In the third, the Spurs built a 68-51 lead with 2:43 to go. After Duncan put San Antonio up by 10 with 11:36 left in the quarter, the Spurs led by double digits the rest of the way.
"I think the first half we played very hard," Durant said. "I think they just came back and hit us in the mouth at the beginning of the second half and we couldn't come back."
Reserve Ime Udoka, who finished with 13 points, opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3s for a 78-59 lead, and Popovich was able to give his stars some much needed rest. Neither Duncan nor Parker played in the fourth.
"We were moving the ball great tonight," Udoka said. "A lot of people got open looks. Those were the shots we were missing in the first quarter."
- The Spurs announced Friday that they have signed G-F DerMarr Johnson. Johnson played in three games for San Antonio earlier this season before being waived. He also played 43 games with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.
- A long-running marijuana possession case against Spurs G Damon Stoudamire was dismissed in Arizona, Stoudamire's lawyer said Friday.
- Durant, who played his freshman year at the University of Texas, got big cheers from the crowd when he was introduced before the game.
- Carlesimo, a former Spurs assistant coach, got his championship ring from Popovich Friday. "It's nice, it's just so far removed," Carlesimo said. "Really, last year in Cleveland and having the parade on the River Walk, that was a lot more meaningful."
- Fabricio Oberto scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards for San Antonio and Matt Bonner had 10 rebounds. Johan Petro scored 10 for Seattle.