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11.06.2006

Spurs defeat Knicks

In a very good game, Tony Parker netted 24 points, including five down the stretch to halt New York's frantic comeback attempt, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Knicks, 105-93, last night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Reserve Brent Barry added 19 points for the Spurs, who blew almost all of a 23-point lead right after Knicks coach Isiah Thomas went deep into his bench with his team seemingly out of the game late in the first half.

The Knicks used a 20-2 run in the fourth quarter to pull within 92-91 with just more than four minutes to play on a jumper by Stephon Marbury, who had the fans on their feet after they heavily booed him during a really bad game Saturday night.

But Parker knocked down a jumper, and after Tim Duncan converted a three-point play, Parker nailed a 3-pointer that gave the Spurs a 100-91 lead with 1 1/2 minutes left.

Duncan and Manu Ginobili each scored 15 points and Parker had 10 assists for the Spurs, who won on consecutive days after a win in Toronto Sunday. San Antonio made 13 3-pointers, five by Barry.

Marbury scored 18 points and Nate Robinson added 15 for New York, which dropped its third in a row after a season-opening victory at Memphis.

Leading by six early in the second quarter, the Spurs held the Knicks scoreless for more than four minutes during a 22-5 burst. Parker had two beautiful passes on consecutive possessions, finding Duncan for an alley-oop in transition, then firing a behind-the-back pass in the corner to Barry for a 3.

The Spurs led, 52-29, with 3:34 remaining in the half. Thomas then sent out four new players who helped the Knicks close the half with a 12-2 spurt that made it 54-41.

That group -- with Robinson, David Lee, Malik Rose and Mardy Collins joining starter Quentin Richardson -- also opened the second half, while players such as Marbury and Eddy Curry, who help comprise the NBA's highest payroll, watched from the bench. Rose and Collins hadn't even scored this season.

The Knicks got within 11 early in the third quarter before Parker and Bruce Bowen knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to give San Antonio a 62-45 cushion. The Spurs seemed firmly in control from there, leading by 19 early in the fourth quarter before New York nearly rallied.

Knicks guard Steve Francis sat out the second half with an injured left ankle. He was hurt after landing on Bowen's foot while making a jumper early in the game.