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Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010

Spurs swat Hornets to keep top record

SAN ANTONIO (AP) What the NBA's best record doesn't say about the San Antonio Spurs are the four times they've fallen behind by 15 points or more before scrambling back to win.

News photo
Up and over: Spurs guard Tony Parker shoots over Hornets guard Trevor Ariza in the first quarter on Sunday. AP PHOTO

"We got to stop that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

There was nothing to worry about in this game.

Tony Parker scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the sliding New Orleans Hornets for the second time in a week, 109-84 on Sunday night, never trailing and leading by 38 in the most-lopsided game for the Hornets this season.

The Hornets also have other matters: George Shinn has agreed to sell the club to the NBA, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press before the game. Hornets forward David West called the ownership issue a "mess" after the game.

"During the summer we felt it was going one way, and I guess things started changing," said West, who scored 13 points. "Who knows. It'll be an experience I would imagine for us, coaching staff and all parties involved."

Matt Bonner added 14 points for the Spurs, hitting four of five 3-point attempts. San Antonio improved its NBA-best record to 17-3 and matched its best start through 20 games since the 2007-08 season.

Parker, who had another strong night after failing to reach double figures in three of the previous five games, said the team talked before the game about the big deficits.

Among the times was just a week ago in New Orleans, where the Spurs trailed by 17 before rallying.

"We would start too slow, and defensively not reacting, not playing with the same passion, not the same energy," Parker said.

Chris Paul had 16 points for the Hornets, who have lost four of five and lately look nothing like the team that opened 8-0.

"They smashed us," Paul said. "They just beat us in all phases of the game. It's pretty embarrassing."

Knicks 116, Raptors 99

In Toronto, Amare Stoudemire had 31 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, Wilson Chandler added 21 points and New York extended its road winning streak to seven.

Landry Fields had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Raymond Felton had 18 points for the Knicks, who matched their longest road winning streak since a seven-game run between Dec. 27, 1994, and Jan. 22, 1995.

Amir Johnson had a season-high 22 points and a a career-high 16 rebounds for Toronto.

Nuggets 108, Grizzlies 107

In Denver, Nene scored 27 points, Arron Afflalo added 25 and Denver held off Memphis to give coach George Karl his 999th NBA victory.

Trail Blazers 100, Clippers 91

In Portland, Wesley Matthews had 26 points and the Blazers snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory over Los Angeles after nearly blowing a 22-point lead.

Eric Gordon led the Clippers, 0-10 on the road, with 24 points.

Celtics 100, Nets 75

In Newark, N.J., Nate Robinson scored 21 points starting in place of an injured Rajon Rondo, leading Boston to its seventh straight victory.

Rondo was a last-minute scratch because of hamstring and foot injuries.

Suns 125, Wizards 108

In Phoenix, Steve Nash was 8 of 8 from the field, made all four of his foul shots, scored 20 points and had a season-high 17 assists to help Phoenix keep Washington winless on the road this season.

Thunder 114, Warriors 109

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 28 points in his first game back from a knee injury, and Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 13 assists for the Thunder.

Stephen Curry scored a season-high 39 points and ignited the Warriors' rally from a 21-point deficit to cut it to three in the final minute.

Pistons 102, Cavaliers 92

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 27 points and Rodney Stuckey added 24 points and 11 assists to help Detroit beat Cleveland.

Both teams came into the game off embarrassing performances. Cleveland lost its last two games by a combined 62 points, including the return of LeBron James.

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