Spurs top Atlanta for fourth straight victory
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tony Parker racked up 23 points and 12 assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 98-93 victory over the struggling Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Behind Parker's efforts and a big night from Matt Bonner off the bench, the Spurs halted a three-game road losing streak and prevailed without the services of Tim Duncan. The veteran forward was rested for the game with San Antonio playing for the second time in two nights.
Bonner helped offset Duncan's absence by hitting 7-of-8 shots -- including 3- of-3 from 3-point range -- en route to a season-best 17 points. Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter added 14 points each in the Spurs' fourth straight win overall.
Josh Smith finished with 21 points and Kyle Korver had 19 for the Hawks, who were dealt an eighth defeat in their last 10 outings and received some additional bad news earlier in the day.
Lou Williams, Atlanta's third-leading scorer this season at 14.1 points per game, was diagnosed with a torn right ACL prior to the contest and will miss the remainder of the campaign. He sustained the injury during Friday's 94-89 loss at Brooklyn.
Al Horford pulled down 15 rebounds in a losing cause for Atlanta, with Jeff Teague compiling 16 points and eight assists.
San Antonio squandered a lead that was as large as 12 points in the first half, but Parker took over in the fourth quarter after the Hawks had knotted the score at 72 just 40 seconds into the final stanza.
The standout point guard netted the final five points of a 9-0 run that turned a one-point game into an 85-75 advantage with 5 1/2 minutes to play, though the Hawks would make one last charge before the final horn.
Down 93-87 after Parker hit a runner with 51.2 seconds to go, Teague knocked down a jumper and John Jenkins made two free throws after Parker went only 1-of-2 from the line to bring Atlanta within 94-91 with 22.2 seconds showing.
After the teams traded baskets, Leonard then buried a pair of clutch free throws with 6.8 seconds on the clock to ensure San Antonio's victory.
The Spurs owned a slim 17-16 edge near the end of a slow-paced opening quarter, but ended the period on an 8-0 run before receiving three straight points from DeJuan Blair to build a 28-16 lead a minute into the second.
A 12-2 spurt in which Korver put up eight points brought the Hawks within 38-37 with under 3 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, but San Antonio dominated the latter stages of the first half to go back in front by double digits.
The Spurs put together a 12-1 surge capped by a Leonard 3-pointer with 19.9 remaining before intermission to extend the margin to 12, before Teague hit a jumper at the buzzer to send Atlanta into the break down 52-42.
Atlanta closed the gap with a strong third quarter in which they shot 50 percent and got 12 points from Devin Harris, whose triple just past the midway mark of the frame trimmed San Antonio's lead to 60-59. Smith followed with a layup with 4:48 to go in the session to put the Hawks ahead for the first time since the game's initial stages.
The game remained tight throughout the next five minutes before San Antonio began to assume control.
Horford returned to the Atlanta lineup after sitting out Friday's loss to the Nets with a sore hamstring, but teammate DeShawn Stevenson missed a second straight game due to a knee injury ... Bonner's previous season best was only 11 points, set in a win at Washington on Nov. 26, and he's now made good on 47.6 percent (50-of-105) of his 3-point tries in 2012-13 ... San Antonio has now won 11 of the last 12 matchups between the teams ... Smith and Korver also grabbed eight rebounds, helping Atlanta finish with a 50-39 advantage on the glass.
01/19 21:57:34 ET