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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Parker, Neal energize Spurs in OT triumph over Rockets


HOUSTON — Tony Parker was happy about getting his first career triple-double on Monday night.

News photo
First career triple-double: San Antonio's Tony Parker goes up for a shot between Houston's Chandler Parsons (left) and Marcus Morris during the second half on Monday night. The Spurs downed the Rockets 134-126 in overtime. AP

When it became clear that the performance was going to help the San Antonio Spurs win, the 12-year veteran could enjoy it so much more.

Gary Neal scored a career-best 29 points and Parker had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Spurs over the Houston Rockets 134-126 in overtime.

"I was like: 'Man if we lose, nobody is going to care,' " Parker said with a laugh about his triple-double. "Now that we won the game it makes it even better, because at the end of the day people only care about wins."

Parker's outing complemented Neal's 7-of-10 performance from 3-point range.

Parker's teammates had fun with him after the game, with a couple of them bellowing "Mr. Triple-Double" as he entered the locker room, eliciting a sheepish grin and a shake of the head from him.

"All night long, he kept us in the game," Spurs coach Gregg Poppovich said of Parker. "With his play on both ends of the floor, he was magnificent."

Jeremy Lin had his best game since joining the Rockets, scoring a career high-tying 38 points with leading scorer James Harden sidelined by a sprained right ankle. It was just the second time he'd scored more than 20 points since coming to Houston.

Neal's last 3-pointer followed by a three-point play by Manu Ginobili put San Antonio ahead 130-122 with two minutes left in overtime, and they held on for the win. It was the Spurs' fifth straight win and second over Houston in three days after a 114-92 victory Friday.

"Gary was unbelievable," Parker said. "He made some big shots for us. He was the one who kept us in the game with timely 3s, very timely 3s in the fourth quarter and in overtime."

The Rockets provided a stronger challenge in this one after San Antonio never trailed in Friday's win. But Houston's inexperience showed in overtime as the Rockets had three turnovers to help the Spurs build the lead.

Houston fell to 0-2 since coach Kevin McHale returned to the bench Saturday after taking a leave of absence Nov. 10 to be with his family as his daughter's health worsened. Alexandra "Sasha" McHale died Nov. 24 of complications from Lupus. She was 23.

A 3-pointer by Ginobili put the Spurs up two before Omer Asik tied it on a jumper with 37 seconds left.

Parker then missed a shot, but Lin dribbled out the shot clock under pressure from Danny Green, giving the Spurs another chance. Carlos Delfino blocked a shot by Tim Duncan to send it to overtime tied at 120-120.

Heat 101, Hawks 92

In Miami, LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 26 and the Heat pulled away in the second half to beat Atlanta.

James (10-16) and Wade (11-13) made 21 of 29 shots for Miami, which shot 58 percent overall to improve to 10-1 at home this season.

Warriors 104, Bobcats 96

In Charlotte, Stephen Curry put on a show for his hometown fans, finishing with 27 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to lead Golden State over the hosts.

Kemba Walker scored 24 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost eight straight.

Mavericks 119, Kings 96

In Dallas, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and the Mavs took control with a 31-3 run in the first half to win their 17th straight regular-season home game against Sacramento.

76ers 104, Pistons 97

In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 25 points to lead the Sixers past Detroit.

Trail Blazers 92, Raptors 74

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers to a victory over Toronto in a game that was overshadowed by injuries for both sides.

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