Tony Parker put home a season-high 33 points and handed out 10 assists as the San Antonio Spurs continued their recent dominance over the Indiana Pacers with a 104-97 victory on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Tim Duncan netted 22 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili added 19 points off the bench for the Spurs, who have not lost to Indiana since April 1, 2007, a span of 11 consecutive games. Danny Green and Gary Neal contributed nine and eight points, respectively, in the triumph.
“It was a weird game on both ends,” Duncan said. “Both teams made runs, but we made enough buckets down the stretch to find a way to win.”
David West netted 22 points and grabbed eight boards, while Paul George contributed 15 points for the Pacers, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. George Hill and Roy Hibbert donated 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the setback. Indiana missed its final 14 shots and was outscored 13-2 in the final 5:29.
Holding a four-point lead going into the fourth, the Pacers quickly built their lead back to 11 with a 9-2 run to open the frame. But the veteran Spurs did not panic and worked their way back into the game before finally taking the lead thanks to a Parker 19-footer with 3:57 to play, putting an exclamation point on a 22-9 run.
Following Parker’s go-ahead bucket, Hibbert missed a 7-footer. Duncan buried a deep deuce on the other end, and added a layup on the Spurs’ next touch off a gorgeous look from Boris Diaw to widen the lead to 101-95 with 2:27 left.
Parker added a pair of free throws with just over a minute to go to ice the victory for the Spurs.
The Spurs kept the Pacers at arm’s length for most of the first quarter, holding a 22-14 lead with less than five minutes to play in the opening session.
The Pacers, though, made it a 26-23 game on a D.J. Augustine trey with less than a minute to go, which capped 9-4 push. Ian Mahinmi ended the quarter with an 18-footer for Indiana, cutting the Spurs’ lead to 28-25 after 12 minutes of play.
A deep three by Green early in the second quarter gave the Pacers the lead during a 9-0 surge which saw the home side push its margin to 39-32 with 7:21 left.
The Spurs roared back with a 12-4 outburst, grabbing a 44-43 lead with 3:44 to play in the half. George capped the second stanza with a corner 3-pointer to make it 52-48 for Indiana at halftime.
Indiana broke it open in the third quarter, starting the frame with an 18-5 surge to build the lead to 70-53 with 6:35 left.
But, the Spurs answered with a big run of their own, closing the quarter on a 20-7 spurt to cut the deficit to just four heading into the fourth.
Notes: San Antonio has won five straight in Indiana … The Spurs have won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the sides … Green has made at least one 3-pointer in 31 consecutive games … The game featured four ties and four lead changes … San Antonio shot 49.4 percent from the floor and 20-of-22 from the free throw line … The Pacers shot 41.3 percent from the field, but struggled from the stripe, hitting just 14-of-21 attempts.
“A tough loss. We competed our tails off. San Antonio executed better down the stretch. Sometimes the ball doesn’t go in. I thought we got a lot of good looks. I’ll take the looks we got. San Antonio is an excellent team. They had their way offensively against our defense in the fourth quarter. Ginobili (Manu) got them back in the game and Parker (Tony) finished it. It hurt to lose the game but there are a lot of positives.”
“We didn’t close the game out. That is a very talented, experienced and one of the best teams in the NBA. We cannot let them do some of the things that they were doing and trying to put distance between us and them. Their defense was very affective and they had some nice pick and rolls, which helped them close this game out. We have got to do a better job of closing things out and not allowing 10 straight field goals or anything like that. We knew that they would come back.”
“They brought pressure on us when they needed to. They ran the high pick and roll when they needed to. We knew that they were going to make a run or two and we had to figure a way out to stop them. We didn’t. Once again I am saying we’ve got to close games out better, offense, defense or whatever. They hit some big shots. There are a big-time team and we’ve got to step up and do a better job against teams of this caliber.”