Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/29/12
SAN ANTONIO -- For most of the night, the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets kept up a frenetic pace at the AT&T Center -- a pace from those by-gone ABA days that kept the fans cheering but the coaches grumbling. But the Spurs were able to use a couple of key runs and were able to hold off the Rockets 122-116 Friday night. One of those runs, 18-7 to open the fourth quarter with a star in foul trouble, helped the Spurs build just good enough of a cushion. "We got a group that did an excellent job of both sprinting back in transition, showing a crowd in full court shell and getting guys off the 3-point line," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That group got us on track and we got stops and we got a lead and hung on to it." The Spurs built a 15-point lead in the first quarter, with Danny Green doing much of the damage. He found himself wide open way too often and scored 14 of his 17 points in that quarter, hitting four of five 3-pointers. He added another three in the second quarter. Green has been a good gauge of how the Spurs perform. When he hits more than one 3-pointer, the Spurs are 14-3. Defense was not in large supply during this game. The Spurs shot 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. The Rockets shot 52 percent. While Green got the Spurs started, it was their old reliables who carried them the rest of the way. Tony Parker (31 points), Tim Duncan (30 points) and Manu Ginobili (season-high 23 points) took over after Green's start. "I kind of had a nice stretch in the third quarter but (Duncan and Parker) have been playing great all season so I kind of joined in on the scoring today," Ginobili said. "The main thing is we beat a great team that has been rolling." Harden picked up fourth and fifth fouls 21 seconds apart in the final minute of the third, and that was part of the reason Houston fell behind to open the fourth. "It changed the entire game," Harden said. "I had to play more hesitant. Especially for the type of player I am, I'm aggressive and I like to play aggressive." The Rockets battled back late, and trailed 118-108. Harden missed a fast-break layup and Parker scored a layup on the other end that put the game away. Chandler Parson added 24 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets and Jeremy Lin added 21. Lin lamented the Rockets inability to handle the ball. Parsons, Harden and Lin each had five turnovers, and the Rockets tallied 24 as a team, their most this season. "Turnovers were a bugaboo for us all night long," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "You can't turn the ball over 24 times on the road and expect to win." Duncan added to his list of impressive career accolades. With two blocks tonight, he surpassed Tree Rollins for eighth on the all-time blocks list with 2,544. He needs 188 to catch Shaquille O'Neal. Notes: According to Yahoo! Sports, Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson is a "significant candidate" to take over as the Brooklyn Nets coach. When Rockets coach Kevin McHale took a leave of absence earlier this year, Sampson led the Rockets to a 7-6 record. The Nets fired Avery Johnson earlier this week. ... Spurs guard Gary Neal missed his second consecutive game with a strained right calf. ... The Rockets have been on an offensive tear recently, averaging 122 points a game in three of their last four games. That three-game stretch tied an NBA record of winning three consecutive games by scoring 120 points and recording a margin of victory of at least 22 points in each game. ... Houston's last outing saw its pace slowed with an 87-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was the Rockets' first win on the road against a Western Conference team.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl


Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker