Published January 11, 2012
SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker hit four free throws late in overtime to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 101-95 on Wednesday night.
Parker scored 28 points on 12-of-22 shooting to lead the Spurs. Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 11 points.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points for Houston, and Luis Scola had 20. Kevin Martin added 18, and Patrick Patterson had 10 points and seven rebounds.
After Parker's free throws gave San Antonio a 98-95 lead with 22 seconds left, Chandler Parsons and Kyle Lowry missed point-blank shots. The Spurs (7-4) hit three of four free throws — one by Leonard and two by Parker — to hold off the Rockets (3-7).
San Antonio is 7-0 at home. The last time the Spurs won seven straight at home to start the season was when they went 13-0 to begin the 2007-08 season.
Danny Green missed a layup with 0.9 seconds left in regulation that could have won the game for the Spurs. Scola drove around Duncan for a layup with 5.8 seconds left on the previous possession to it.
The Spurs played without backup point guard T.J. Ford. He will be out four to six weeks because of a torn left hamstring. Ford was injured Tuesday night in a loss at Milwaukee. San Antonio is already without top scorer Manu Ginobili for several more weeks because of a fractured fifth metacarpal.
Gary Neal had moved into the starting lineup to take Ginobili's spot, but with Ford out, Neal returned to the bench to assume backup point guard duties. Leonard started for the Spurs.
The Spurs hit 41 of 96 shots, and Houston was 42 of 92. The Rockets hit only three of 21 3-pointers.
After starting the fourth quarter with a basket take a 74-68 lead, the Spurs went 4:28 without scoring. Parker's jumper with 6:46 left ended the drought
The teams then traded baskets before Duncan found Leonard for a layup with 3:02 left to put the Spurs up 84-83. On the next possession, Duncan hit a turnaround bank shot over Scola.
Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich criticized his team's defensive effort, and during the first half, the Spurs did little to make him change his mind.
NOTES: San Antonio recalled first-round pick Cory Joseph, a point guard the team selected in the first round of the June draft, from the Development League. The Spurs also added Malcolm Thomas, a 6-foot-9 rookie forward. Thomas, who teamed with Spurs rookie Leonard at San Diego State, had been playing for Los Angeles in the D-League. "He's an athletic young man who has a lot of energy, has some good skills, so we'll take a look at him," Popovich said. Neither rookie played against Houston. ... With a free throw with 4:54 in the game, Duncan moved past Larry Bird for 27th place on the scoring list. Duncan has 21,888 points.