Parker and Duncan help Spurs shoot down Rockets

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.

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