Posted January 19, 2013 on AP on Fox
Tony Parker had 23 points and 12 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the short-handed Atlanta Hawks, 98-93, on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Matt Bonner added 17 points, and Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter each had 14 for the Spurs. The Hawks announced about 90 minutes before the game that guard Lou Williams faces season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee. Williams was hurt Friday at Brooklyn and the tear was found when Williams was examined on Saturday by Dr. Michael Bernot in Atlanta. Then the Hawks lost guard Devin Harris to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 21 points. Kyle Korver, who started at shooting guard, had 19 points. Spurs forward Tim Duncan was not in uniform as he was given the night off by coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs led by 12 in the first half but Atlanta kept the game close in the final two periods. A basket by Hawks rookie John Jenkins tied the game at 72-all early in the final period, but Bonner's basket gave San Antonio the lead for good. Jenkins made two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to cut the Spurs' lead to 94-91, but San Antonio beat the Hawks' full-court press for an easy basket by Splitter. Hawks coach Larry Drew called Williams' injury ''devastating.'' Williams was third on the team with his average of 14.1 points. Even though Williams usually came off the bench, his injury affected Drew's starting lineup. Korver started instead of Harris because Drew said he wasn't comfortable having both his healthy point guards - Harris and Teague - in the lineup. Harris was helped off the court and immediately taken to the locker room early in the third period after he turned his left ankle. The Hawks listed Harris as questionable to return, but he didn't make it back to the bench after having the ankle taped. Al Horford had nine points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta after missing Friday's loss with a sore left hamstring. Bonner made all of his three 3-point attempts in the first half as the Spurs led 52-42 at the break. Korver had three 3-pointers in the half for Atlanta. The Hawks had a strong start to the second half and took a 61-60 lead after Smith drove past Boris Diaw on the baseline. Diaw answered with a basket to start an 8-0 run for the Spurs, who led 72-70 entering the final period. NOTES: There were fans wearing the colors for both teams in Sunday's NFC championship game at the Georgia Dome between the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. ... R&B artist Mary J. Blige was in the crowd. ... Popovich, asked before the game why guard Manu Ginobili is with the team though he is expected to miss at least another week with a left hamstring injury, said ''eye candy.''
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