In just his second game back after three weeks out with a sprained ankle, Tony Parker lived up to the “MVP’ chants in Toyota Center on Sunday and Rockets coach Kevin McHale’s description of his play this season. He led the Spurs with 23 points and seven assists and scored 12 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to take the Spurs from an eight-point deficit to a four-point lead.

“Tony is dynamic,” McHale said. “I thought … his name wasn’t being thrown about as far as MVP, and I thought until he got hurt, he was doing as much as anybody did. I think the latest run of Miami might solidify that for LeBron (James). Tony’s had a great year. Tony coming back, they’re adding maybe the player who has played second best all year to LeBron.”

Jeremy Lin described the Spurs’ offense, averaging 123.3 points in the first three games against the Rockets, as built around Parker.

“He’s their best player,” Lin said. “He’s their All-Star. He’s the engine of everything they do.”

Beverley provides lift with defense

Though Patrick Beverley gave the Rockets a much-needed lift in the first half, scoring 11 points in 13 minutes, he played the final four minutes for his defense.


“Patrick had a good game going,” coach Kevin McHale said. “(Tony) Parker was driving and getting fouled, so we went with Patrick out there to get a little more defense and then Chandler (Parsons) switched off.”