For a while, that felt more like it. This time, the Spurs had no letdown. They gave no quarter.
Faced with a second consecutive home game against a Western Conference cellar dweller, the Spurs did to the Sacramento Kings what they should have done to the Phoenix Suns, ripping off a brutal 130-102 victory Friday night that served as a textbook response to a frustrating loss two nights earlier.
And had Tony Parker not hobbled off late in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle, that would have been the end of the story.
Instead, the Spurs left the AT&T Center in much the same shape as their All-Star point guard — victorious, but battered.
“It is worrying,” guard Manu Ginobili said of the loss of the player who has been the Spurs’ catalyst en route to an NBA-best 46-14 record. “We need him. We really need him.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker would likely be out “a while” after rolling his left ankle on Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas’ foot following a layup with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
Early indications are that “a while” could mean a couple of weeks.
Parker’s injury might not be a blow devastating to the Spurs’ push to hold on to the top slot in the West against hard-charging Oklahoma City, two games behind in the loss column.
But it certainly doesn’t help.
“He’s been our leader all year long,” said Tim Duncan, who a month earlier nearly to the day limped off the AT&T Center floor through the same tunnel with a sprained knee. “But we’ve played with all kinds of different people this year. We’re going to rally.”
Up until Parker went down, Friday night had been all about the Spurs getting their groove back after giving away a 105-101 loss to the Suns two nights earlier.
Behind a career-best 15 assists from Ginobili, and with eight players in double figures for the first time since March 2011, the Spurs led wire-to-wire and by as many as 36 points.
Seeming to audition for the point guard job even before Parker went down, Ginobili snapped his previous career assist mark of 14 set against Denver in 2008. He also had nine points, four rebounds and three steals, atoning for an ill-timed missed free the game before that allowed Phoenix to push the game to overtime.
Spurs win game, lose Tony Parker
San Antonio Express-News | Mar 2