HOUSTON, (Reuters) – Tony Parker scored 28 points as the San Antonio Spurs edged the Houston Rockets 88-85 in a key Southwest Division clash in the NBA on Saturday.
San Antonio (44-21) took a 2 ½ game lead in the division on the second placed Rockets (43-25) with the narrow win.
Michael Finley scored 17 points and Tim Duncan contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who were beaten 102-95 by the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. “That was a big win for us,” Parker told reporters. “We’re battling for home court advantage so these wins are big.
“To come back and win here after losing to the Lakers is huge too. There was a lot of playoff intensity out there tonight.”
Parker and Duncan scored the Spurs’ final 15 points.
The Spurs also made two big defensive stops in the final 15 seconds to preserve the win.
“We struggled a bit at times, but we made some huge shots when we had to,” Parker said.
Ron Artest led Houston with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Yao Ming added 18 points and had 11 rebounds for the Rockets.
It was the second successive home loss for the Rockets after a 12-game home winning streak had helped propel them to within 1-½ games of the Spurs in the division.