LOS ANGELES (AP) – Tony Parker scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs led all the way in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 116-90 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory and first over the Clippers this season.
The Spurs improved to an NBA-best 22-10 on the road, where they’ve also won five in a row.mm
Parker had seven assists and no turnovers in 28 minutes and Danny Green added 15 points. The West-leading Spurs tied their season-best with 59-percent shooting, hit eight 3-pointers and made 22 of 28 free throws. They had lost both previous meetings with the Clippers in November.
Matt Barnes scored 18 points, Blake Griffin had 17 points and Jamal Crawford 15 points as the Clippers’ four-game winning streak ended in their first game after the All-Star break. Chris Paul, MVP in Houston last weekend with 20 points and 15 assists, was held to four points on 1-of-6 shooting and three assists.
The Clippers have lost their first game coming out of the break in nine of the last 10 years, including five in a row. They came in trailing the Spurs by 4 1/2 games for the best record in the NBA, but they never got a run going and their defense didn’t do much. The biggest excitement during the game was generated by a fan who made a half-court shot during a timeout to win a new car.
The Spurs led by 28 points to start the fourth quarter, when Parker rested and fans hit the exits in droves. The Clippers equaled their worst loss of the season.
San Antonio put on a free-throw shooting clinic in the third quarter, making 16 of 20, including 12 during a 14-4 run that extended its lead to 81-53.
The Spurs shot 63 percent to lead 58-43 at halftime. Parker scored 17 points in the half, while Griffin was the only Clipper in double figures with 13 points. Paul didn’t make his first basket until the final 3 minutes of the second quarter.
San Antonio made its first six shots to start the game and used a 17-4 run, including seven by Manu Ginobili, to close out the first quarter leading 34-21.
NOTES: San Antonio improved to 6-1 on its nine-game rodeo trip. … The Clippers dropped to 21-6 at home. … Spurs F-G Stephen Jackson played for the first time since his wife had a miscarriage. He had left the team in Chicago on Feb. 11. … Spurs F Kawhi Leonard was held out for precautionary reasons because of soreness in his left knee, the same reason he missed 16 games earlier in the season. … Adam Silver, who will succeed David Stern as NBA commish, attended the game. … There was a moment of silence for late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died Monday.