Recap | Box Score
San Antonio Spurs 100, New York Knicks 92
By Associated Press
November 11, 2006
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- It's a good thing the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks won't meet again in the regular season.
|Bruce Bowen finds himself in the middle of controversy against Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.|
Otherwise, things might get even uglier.
Tony Parker scored a season-high 33 points to lead the Spurs over the Knicks 100-92 Saturday night, but it was an earlier incident that dominated the postgame talk.
The teams met twice this week, with the Spurs also winning at New York on Monday by pulling out a 105-93 victory after a late Knicks surge brought them within one.
It was during that game that Knicks guard Steve Francis was hurt after landing on Spurs forward Bruce Bowen's foot while making a jumper early in the game. Francis sat out the second half with an injured left ankle Monday and hasn't played since.
The tension was still palpable Saturday.
Bowen and Knicks coach Isiah Thomas each got a technical in the first quarter when Thomas yelled something toward Bowen after Knicks guard Jamal Crawford shot a jumper and came down close enough to Bowen's foot to catch Thomas' attention.
"I didn't really see where he was. I knew he was somewhere underneath me," Crawford said. "I didn't know exactly where. I was focused on getting the ball up."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also entered the fray with a back-and-forth with Thomas, but wasn't called for a technical. He didn't talk directly about the incident after the game.
"I thought Jamal went up to take the shot and as he was coming down, Bruce's foot was under him," Thomas said. "And if he were to come down on his foot, he could have broken his ankle or sprained his ankle and he would have been out, just like Francis."
Bowen said the incident was unfortunate.
"It's unfortunate that injuries happen in this game. But it's about what we learn as kids as far as the enjoyment of playing this game," Bowen said.
Tim Duncan, who had 24 points and 16 rebound but was just 4-of-12 at the free throw line, came to Bowen's defense.
"There's nothing that Bruce did. Bruce didn't do anything. Bruce defends people, and people get frustrated," he said.
Thomas said he "wouldn't call" Bowen a dirty player.
"But what he's doing -- when your foot is under another player in the air -- that can end somebody's career," Thomas said. "I don't think it was intentional."
Parker was 12-of-17 from the field in nearly 36 minutes. The Spurs shot 50 percent from the field and were barely better at the line, going 21-of-38 (55 percent).
Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 40 minutes, followed by Crawford, who added 18 points. The Knicks shot 45 percent from the field.
"We had a slow start, which made it kind of tough for us," Richardson said. "We got to figure out how to exert more energy and stay closer" at the beginning.
The Spurs took an 11-point lead into the second quarter and continued to control the pace of the game throughout the first half. Parker scored 13 of his 19 first-half points in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the second quarter.
The Spurs' biggest lead before the break was 15, with an 11-point cushion coming into the second half.
A reverse layup by Stephon Marbury narrowed the Spurs' lead to five with just over four minutes to go in the third, but Duncan's eight points in the quarter, plus five in the last minute from Spurs newcomer Francisco Elson on a dunk and three-point play, kept San Antonio ahead 76-67 before the last period.
The Knicks got no closer than seven in the fourth, despite six points apiece from Richardson and Eddy Curry. Parker added 10 for the Spurs in the fourth, shooting 80 percent from the field.
The Spurs have scored at least 100 points in four straight games. ... The Knicks haven't won in San Antonio since March 18, 2003, when they had a 105-97 victory. ... Parker has been the Spurs' leading scorer in four of five victories this season, averaging 21 points in those games.