Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/24/12
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INDIANAPOLIS - The San Antonio Spurs made sure their winning streak over the Indiana Pacers stayed intact. It wasn't easy, though. The Spurs fought back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 104-97 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday. Guard Tony Parker led all scorers with 33 points and 10 assists. Forward David West had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers. San Antonio has won 11 in a row over the Pacers, who missed their final 14 shots of the game. "We showed no panic," Parker said. "It was a long 48 minutes but we kept playing. It was definitely a mental game tonight. They made us work hard for every shot. We've been together a long time. "In the end we made some stops and they missed some shots." The Pacers were less than six minutes away from their most impressive victory of the season. But then they couldn't put the ball in the basket anymore. West, center Roy Hibbert and guard George Hill accounted 12 of the Pacers' final 14 misses. Hibbert missed four shots within seven feet of the basket. "We were executing pretty well," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "That's the game of basketball for you, though. Sometimes the ball doesn't go in the basket. Give credit to San Antonio, they're an excellent team." An excellent team with three future Hall of Famers -- Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili -- scored 74 of San Antonio's 104 points. "We just didn't compete well enough on the defensive end to win this game," West said. "Obviously we missed some shots offensively, but I thought we didn't do good on their main three. You can't allow Parker, Ginobili and Duncan to win the game the way they did." The Pacers opened the second half by scoring 18 of the first 23 points to turn a four-point lead into a 17-point lead. But the Spurs wouldn't go away. They got Indiana's lead down to four heading into the final quarter. The Spurs got their first lead since the second quarter when Parker made a layup with about three minutes left in the game. "I was pleased with the double comeback," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We were down 17 points, we came back and then they ran the score back up and we came back a second time. Thought my team showed real character." The Pacers finally ended their scoring drought when West made two free throws with 55.3 seconds left in the game. That was also the end of San Antonio's 12-0 run. "They brought pressure on us when they needed to," Pacers guard Paul George said. "We knew they were going to make a run or two and we had to figure a way to stop them. We didn't. Once again, we've got to close games out better, offense, defense or whatever." The Pacers didn't have an answer for Parker in the first half. He had his former teammate, Hill, on skates trying to guard him. Parker made his first eight shot attempts and also had five assists before really breaking a sweat. Still, the Pacers still stayed within striking distance of the Spurs despite Parker's early success. Indiana only trailed 28-25 at the end of the first quarter. The Pacers finally got their first lead of the game in the second quarter. And it wasn't because of the starters. The bench, led by point guard D.J. Augustin and power forward Tyler Hansbrough on the glass, gave the Pacers a 33-32 lead early in the third quarter. The Pacers went up by as many as seven points -- 39-32 -- when Ian Mahinmi made a 17-foot bank shot. The Pacers went into the half leading 52-48 behind George's 10 points and Hansbrough's 11 rebounds. Parker led all scorers with 20 points and six assists. NOTES: Pacers coach Frank Vogel referred to Popovich as one of the all-time best coaches. He put him in the same breath as Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach. ... The Spurs were without Stephen Jackson (finger) and Kawhi Leonard (quad). ... The Pacers open a four-game road trip Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Lakers. ... Three of the games are on the West Coast and the final game is at Chicago.
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