San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Parker scored 27 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-98 win over the Houston Rockets in a pivotal Southwest Division showdown at AT&T Center.
Kawhi Leonard supplied 20 points and Boris Diaw added 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Spurs, who have won nine straight and pulled to within a half-game of the Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies for the top spot in the division.
San Antonio came out a little sluggish after Tuesday's 113-88 rout at Oklahoma City, but it forced nine turnovers for 11 points in the second half to take an easy win. The Spurs committed just two turnovers in the final two quarters.
"I thought we played pretty well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If we did do something (in the second half) it was good. I probably wouldn't tell you anything publicly, but we didn't invent anything."
James Harden went for 22 points in the loss, while Trevor Ariza had 19 points and Dwight Howard deposited 16 with 11 rebounds.
The Rockets had their three-game winning streak halted.
"They just came out and played with a little more energy on both ends of the floor," Howard said. "They won loose balls and just out-hustled us."
Houston led by one after the first quarter, then the Spurs grabbed a 57-53 lead at halftime.
San Antonio blew the game open from there.
The Spurs doubled up the Rockets, 14-7, over the first six minutes of the third to stretch their lead to 71-60. Parker's 10 points in the frame led the charge and the hosts brought an 85-71 lead into the fourth.
Manu Ginobili's 3-pointer with under 10 minutes left in the game made it 92-73 and the Spurs cruised to the finish.
The two teams will meet again in Houston on Friday ... The Rockets will reportedly be without forward Donatas Motiejunas for the remainder of the season after the Houston Chronicle reported earlier that he may need to undergo surgery for a lower back injury. Motiejunas has missed the last seven games ... San Antonio outrebounded the Rockets 47-39 ... Houston made 10-of-25 shots from beyond the arc ... Ginobili had 13 points off the bench ... Aron Baynes grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Spurs.