SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan scored 19 points, Tony Parker had 18 and the San Antonio Spurs won their third in a row, beating the New Orleans Hornets 93-81 Thursday night.
A night after Duncan scored 25 in a win over Houston, it was somewhat surprising that he even played. Coach Gregg Popovich has vowed to limit the 35-year-old's minutes and playing the West's worst team seemed to invite a night off.
But the Hornets didn't make it easy. Carly Landry scored 17 points and Greivis Vasquez added 16 points staring in place of Jarrett Jack, keeping New Orleans close before the Spurs blew out the game in the fourth.
Jack sat out with a sore knee but the pain isn't considered serious. The Hornets have lost 12 of their last 13.
Tiago Splitter added 16 points and Danny Green had 11 off the bench for the Spurs, who improved to an NBA-best 12-1 at home. They need to stockpile all the home wins they can: After hosting the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, the Spurs won't be back home for three weeks.
The San Antonio Rodeo runs the Spurs out of town every February — but the franchise has never seen a stretch like this. The compressed schedule in wake of the NBA lockout has San Antonio in the midst of playing 16 of 21 games outside the AT&T Center, the toughest road run in Spurs history.
The upside is that the Spurs should get Manu Ginobili back on their trip. Ginobili broke his hand Jan. 2 but the Spurs have persevered without their go-to scorer, going 12-7 so far and staying atop the Southwest Division.
Carldell Johnson scored 11 points and was the only other Hornets player in double figures. New Orleans trailed by just 3 after the third quarter but was outscored 22-12 in the fourth. The Hornets shot 29 percent in the fourth while the Spurs missed only five shots.
Like the Spurs, the Hornets were also playing for the second time in two nights after losing at home to Phoenix. Hornets coach Monty Williams shrugged before the game at the effect of defeat after defeat.
"We've had so many losses, they all sting," Williams said.
NOTES: Parker needs 7 assists to surpass Avery Johnson for the franchise record. Parker has 4,468 career assists, all with the San Antonio. ...Duncan needs 19 rebounds to surpass Charles Oakley and become among the NBA's top 20 rebounders of all time.