Posted January 26, 2013 on AP on Fox
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Tony Parker had 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs earned their eighth consecutive win by shutting down the Phoenix Suns in the final quarter for a 108-99 victory on Saturday night. Manu Ginobili added 20 points, Tiago Splitter had 13, Boris Diaw finished with 11 for San Antonio (36-11), which has won 16 in a row at home. The Spurs were without Tim Duncan (sore knee) and coach Gregg Popovich (illness) for a third consecutive game. Michael Beasley had 25 points and Jared Dudley scored 23 for the Suns (15-29), who lost for the first time since coach Lindsey Hunter took over. Parker had 11 points and five assists as San Antonio outscored Phoenix 27-17 in the fourth, forcing six turnovers in the period. The All-Star point guard finished 13 for 17 from the field and only had three turnovers in 34 minutes. The Spurs turned up their defensive pressure in the final period, forcing three turnovers and three missed shots while building a 96-88 lead with 6:21 remaining. Parker had four points and an assist in the 7-0 run, racing down the court for a layup after stepping in front of a pass by Markieff Morris. San Antonio grabbed control after Ginobili was knocked down by Shannon Brown with 31.4 seconds left in the third, leading to a flagrant foul and an ejection. Brown struck Ginobili violently across the side of the head as he attempted to recover defensively after getting beat off the dribble. Ginobili also was undercut by Morris almost simultaneously, leading to loud jeers by the crowd. The ejection shocked Brown, who watched mouth agape as the foul was replayed on the video screen. The play invigorated Ginobili, who had two steals and a 3 to bridge the third and fourth quarters and tie the game at 84. Just as it did in Wednesday's 106-102 victory over New Orleans, San Antonio struggled early. The Spurs missed their first three shots while failing to score in the first 3 minutes. After Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each missed a 3, Parker scored on a layup after Goran Dragic fell while attempting to backpedal defensively. The basket sparked the Spurs, who made their next 10 attempts in a 22-13 run. Parker scored 10 points during the run, including a layup that put San Antonio up 22-19 with 4 minutes left. Beasley scored 10 points in the second quarter, including six during an 11-6 surge that put Phoenix ahead 49-48 with 4:21 left in the half. NOTES: Duncan has sat out four games this season after missing eight during last year's strike-shortened season. . Suns F Channing Frye (enlarged heart) remains out indefinitely. Frye has not played this season. . The Spurs swept the season series against the Suns last season, winning the four games by an average of 8.5 points. . Phoenix general manager Lance Blanks spent five seasons in San Antonio's front office, ascending to director of scouting before joining the Suns.
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