Spurs pulling away in West


SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker had 27 points and nine assists, and the San Antonio Spurs increased their lead in the Western Conference to one game by beating the Seattle SuperSonics 104-95.

San Antonio (60-18) recorded a 60-win season for the third time in franchise history, the last coming when the Spurs won the NBA title in the 2002-03 season.

The Spurs lead Dallas by a game for the best record and the top seed in the West. Both teams have four regular-season games remaining – with all the Spurs’ games against teams with losing records.

Parker, who was 7-of-8 from the field in the second quarter, helped the Spurs overcome a tough shooting night by Tim Duncan. Duncan shot 6-for-18 and had 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Seattle (33-44) had won a season-best four straight games and six of the past eight. Ray Allen averaged 31 points and shot 55.4 percent during the winning streak, but was limited to 14 points and shot 5-of-13 from the floor.

Luke Ridnour and Rashard Lewis each scored 15.

The Spurs outshot Seattle 50 percent to 38 percent. San Antonio had a season-best 13 blocks.

Brent Barry, inserted into the starting lineup in place of the injured Manu Ginobili, scored 16 points. He shot 6-of-12, including 4-for-8 from 3-point territory.

Ginobili missed his second straight game because of left calf and shin contusions. The Spurs won both games with Ginobili out of the lineup.

Michael Finley came off the Spurs’ bench to score 17 points. He hit 3-of-4 3-pointers.

San Antonio led by seven at halftime, but the Spurs outscored Seattle 23-9 through the first 9:43 of the second half to take a 21-point lead.

The Spurs led by 19 with 3:46 to go when they pulled their starters.

The Sonics led by six points 9:36 into the game. But the Spurs went on a 13-0 run during the next 4:02 to take a 31-22 lead on Parker’s layup.

San Antonio took its largest lead of the half when Parker scored on a fast-break layup to make it 47-37 with 4 minutes left.

Parker was 7-of-8 in the second quarter. He had five assists in the first quarter, including two in the final 2:11 when Rasho Nesterovic hit 3-point shots.

Nesterovic made his first five shots to open the game.

Notes:The Spurs have won 60 games two other times in team history, including a franchise-best 62 in 1994-95. … Besides Ginobili’s absence, Spurs forward Robert Horry missed the game when he attended to family business after the death of his father-in-law. … Spurs reserve point guard Beno Udrih played for the first time since a sprained left ankle forced him to miss the past six games. … SuperSonics forward Chris Wilcox entered the game with four consecutive double-doubles, but he scored eight points and had six rebounds against the Spurs.

AP-ES-04-11-06 2305EDT