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Tuesday November 27, 2012

Parker spark Spurs

TORONTO: Tony Parker scored 11 of his 32 points in two overtimes on Sunday to lead the San Antonio Spurs to an 111-106 NBA victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Tim Duncan scored 26 points with six assists and five rebounds for the Spurs, who have won three straight games and improved to 11-3. Manu Ginobili chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

With less than 1:15 remaining in the second overtime, Parker connected on jump shots on back-to-back possessions to help seal the win.

Duncan’s dunk with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime had given San Antonio a 92-90 lead, but a foul by Parker gave Toronto the ball. Parker grabbed the Raptors’ inbounds pass from Jose Calderon and drove for a layup to stretch the Spurs’ lead to 94-90 with 24 seconds on the clock.

Toronto responded with a three-pointer from Kyle Lowry, but Ginobili made two free throws to again stretch the Spurs’ advantage.

The Raptors held on. Demar DeRozan’s dunk closed the gap to 96-95 and after Gary Neal made one of two free throw for San Antonio DeRozan made a layup to knot the score at 97-97 and force the second overtime.

DeRozan led the Raptors with 29 points. Rookie Jonas Valanciunas had 22 and Lowry had 20.

But Toronto got little from Andrea Bargnani, who scored just four points on two-of-19 shooting.

“It was a hard fought game, anybody could’ve won it,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “We played better in the overtime.”

In the other top match of the night, Kevin Garnett got hot at just the right time to score Boston’s final six points of regulation to force overtime as the Celtics dug deep to beat the Orlando Magic 116-110.

Garnett put up 24 points and had 10 rebounds, while Paul Pierce knocked down the go-ahead three-pointer in overtime to help deliver the road victory. “That’s what it’s all about. Finding a way to win,” Pierce told reporters. “Not feeling sorry for ourselves late about giving up a pretty good lead. And just finding a way to grind it out. And that’s what we did.”

Pierce finished with 23 points while Rajon Rondo had 15 and 16 assists, marking the 37th consecutive game he has registered at least 10 helpers. Rondo also added nine rebounds to fall one shy of a triple-double.

Boston (8-6) trailed by seven midway through the fourth quarter before going on a run that was capped by Garnett’s hot streak. In overtime, Pierce snapped a 108-108 tie with his three-pointer and the Celtics (8-6) did not look back. J.J. Redick led Orlando (5-8) with 21 points off the bench and Jameer Nelson added 20.

The Celtics have now won two straight and trail Atlantic leaders New York Knicks by two games. — Agencies

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