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San Antonio at Sacramento

Parker makes return to action as Spurs win fourth straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Even on a night when Manu Ginobili struggled through the first three quarters, the San Antonio Spurs looked to their feisty veteran to get going in the fourth.

And just as he's done consistently since the All-Star break, Ginobili delivered.

Richard Jefferson had 18 points and Ginobili scored 11 of his 16 in the fourth quarter for the surging Spurs, who beat the Sacramento Kings 95-86 on Tuesday for their fourth straight victory.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGB
1o-Dallas-
2x-Denver-
3x-Golden State-
4x-Houston-
5y-L.A. Clippers-
6x-L.A. Lakers-
7x-Memphis-
8o-Minnesota-
Still alive
10z-Oklahoma City-
14y-San Antonio-
Eliminated
9o-New Orleans-
11o-Phoenix-
12o-Portland-
13o-Sacramento-
15o-Utah-
Complete Playoff Race

After entering the final period with five points, Ginobili made four of seven shots in the fourth, including all three 3-point attempts to help the Spurs escape Sacramento with a victory and continue their late-season roll.

"I'm feeling really confident right now," said Ginobili, who has averaged more than 25 points over the past 16 games. "I couldn't make shots for three quarters, but I know the team trusts me. They ran some plays for me and I took some big shots and they went in."

Ginobili's 3-pointer with 5:15 remaining broke a 79-all tie and began a stretch of 12 unanswered points by the Spurs. Another 3 by Ginobili several minutes later put San Antonio ahead 89-79.

"It was the fourth quarter again [for us]," Kings forward Donte Greene said. "Ginobili got hot and we always need to know where he is at. We did a pretty good job on him until the fourth quarter."

The victory moved San Antonio into a sixth-place tie with Oklahoma City in the Western Conference playoff race. San Antonio has won 16 of 21 and has five games remaining, including trips to Phoenix, Denver and Dallas.

The Spurs got some typical clutch production from Ginobili and also were pleased to see the return of point guard Tony Parker, who had missed 16 games with an injured hand.

Playing sparingly in a reserve role, Parker had eight points and two assists in 16 minutes.

"Pop [coach Gregg Popovich] told me about 15 minutes and I got 16," said Parker, who didn't play in the fourth quarter. "I didn't feel tired, I was just kind of out of rhythm. I was just happy to be out there, I didn't care what I did."

Making his first NBA start, Garrett Temple had 15 points for the Spurs. Temple made five of eight shots, converted all four free throws and added three rebounds and four assists. He had been with the Kings on a 10-day contract earlier in the season when he played five games and was released.

"Garrett was fantastic tonight," Popovich said. "It's really impressive to see a young guy go out there and be that aggressive and not worry about making mistakes. I thought he was really important to our win tonight."

DeJuan Blair scored 13 points, Antonio McDyess had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Tim Duncan added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs.

Tyreke Evans had 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Kings, who have lost eight straight and 10 of 11. Carl Landry scored 20 points and Dante Greene had 12.

"We thought we had them, but they made some tough shots in the fourth quarter to ice the game," Evans said. "That is what hurt us."

The Spurs have showed they can beat the NBA's best. In a recent 10-day stretch, they defeated division leaders Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston and Orlando.

Parker, a crucial ingredient to the Spurs' four NBA championships, had been replaced at point guard by George Hill the past month. With Hill directing the offense, the Spurs compiled an 11-5 record and he averaged 16.1 points a game.

Parker's return nearly coincided with Hill's sprained right ankle in Sunday's win over the Lakers. Hill didn't play against the Kings and is expected to miss Wednesday's game at Phoenix, too.

Following a two-point first half, Duncan scored eight in the third to help the Spurs take a 71-67 lead into the fourth quarter.

Notes

  • Kings starting center Spencer Hawes has a bruised left knee and will miss the rest of the season.
  • Parker has sat out 26 games this season, while Hill missed his first game to injury during his two-year career.
  • Duncan picked up a third-quarter technical foul, then shared a quick laugh with Beno Udrih, his former teammate, who made the subsequent technical and two other free throws in succession.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Tony Parker scores eight points in 17 minutes of action in his first game since March 6. (AP)
Tony Parker scores eight points in 17 minutes of action in his first game since March 6. (AP)
Scoreboard
San Antonio (48-29) «1829242495
Sacramento (24-54) 1829201986
SA:R. Jefferson 18 Pts
SA:A. McDyess 11 Reb
SA:M. Ginobili 6 Ast
SAC:T. Evans 22 Pts
SAC:T. Evans 9 Reb
SAC:T. Evans 6 Ast
Players of the Game
SacramentoSan Antonio

T. Evans

A. McDyess
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
229612113

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San Antonio
M. Ginobili, SG345-133-316216
R. Jefferson, SF347-143-452018
A. McDyess, PF296-80-0113112
T. Duncan, PF295-120-0103110
G. Temple, PG275-84-434415
D. Blair, PF196-61-240213
T. Parker, PG173-82-23218
M. Bonner, PF170-50-03100
K. Bogans, SG160-21-12121
R. Mason Jr., SG150-20-01010
M. Hairston, SG20-12-20002
I. Mahinmi, C10-00-00000
G. Hill, PGDid Not Play
A. Gee, SGDid Not Play
C. Jerrells, PGDid Not Play
Totals 37-7916-1843221495
 46.8%88.9% 
Sacramento
T. Evans, PG4310-241-296522
C. Landry, PF399-172-520320
J. Thompson, PF343-80-08237
B. Udrih, PG342-77-935111
A. Nocioni, SF180-20-03120
D. Greene, SF255-100-020112
F. Garcia, SG192-60-03014
O. Casspi, SF140-20-03100
S. May, PF145-60-011210
J. Brockman, PFDid Not Play
I. Udoka, SGDid Not Play
S. Hawes, CDid Not Play
D. McGuire, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8210-1634161886
 43.9%62.5% 
Other Games
Tor 101 Final
Cle 113
Det 124 Final
Phi 103
GS 94 Final
Wash 112
Atl 100 Final
Char 109
Bos 101 Final
NY 104
Mil 79 Final
Chi 74
Hou 113 Final
Mem 103
OKC 139 Final
Utah 140