Spurs Shoot Lights Out Against Capable Cavs

By Gregory Moore
Updated: December 12, 2004

Tony Parker
Tony Parker

SAN ANTONIO – Back to losses against Western Conference foes seemed to send the San Antonio Spurs reeling this past week but they found their shooting touch with an 84% shooting performance in the first half. That shooting frenzy catapulted the Spurs to a 116-97 win.

“We had good focus. It was a great floor game by Tony Parker with scoring, assists, and good defense,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game.

Tim Duncan who had 34 points in the game led the Spurs. Tony Parker scored 18 points while Bruce Bowen had twenty in the win. For the Cavaliers they were led by Drew Gooden, who scored 28 points followed by LeBron James, who had 23 points in the loss.

“We wanted to jump on them early and get the last two games out of our head,” Duncan said. “We wanted to come out and play well early and we were able to do that tonight.”

The Spurs had a two game losing streak prior to Saturdayt’s game in which they played horrifically against Seattle and Houston. Their shooting percentage in the first half was by far one of the best performances in a while.

“I think the last time I saw something like that was a couple of years prior to David [Robinson] retiring,” Malik Rose said. “In that game I think we had scored 70 points at half time.” When asked about the shooting percentage, Popovich reiterated that that is how this league is.

“The last time I saw a team shoot this well was Seattle [in reference to the loss against Seattle]. It goes both ways.” The Cavaliers have come out on a great start with a 12-8 win in just twenty games. Even with that great start, coach Paul Silas wanted his team to compete hard against such shooting effort.

“It’s almost impossible when a team is shooting that well,” Silas said. “But I do like the way we competed in the second half. It’s all part of the growth of this team.” “Them [the Spurs] shooting over 80% comes from either us not playing aggressive defense or their shooters just being hot. In thisc ase it was a little of both,” James said. “Shooting 84%, I’ve never seen it. Not since I was in high school and we would shoot those kinds of percentages. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything like that.” GAME NOTES: While everyone was focusing on how great the team was shooting, Popovich was also glad to see Rasho Nestorovic come out of whatever funk he had been in the last couple of games. “The last two games he’s done a fine job,” Popovich said. “He’s been more aggressive in his movement, he’s asking for the ball, he’s more demonstrative.” The Spurs will have three days off before playing their next opponent, the Orlando Magic. Hedoyat Turkalougu, who signed a multi year deal with the Magic, will make his only return appearance to his former club. “It will be good to see Hedo,” Bowen said.

Parker was one assist off his career high Saturday. In the game, he had 13 assists while his career high is 14.