Jan 23, 2013 11:47 PM by AP
Tony Parker had 24 points and 13 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs rallied for a 106-102 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night, overcoming the absence of Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich for their 15th straight win at home.
Tiago Splitter added 25 points and seven rebounds, Stephen Jackson had 15 points and Danny Green 12 for San Antonio (34-11).
Eric Gordon scored 17 points for New Orleans (14-28). Ryan Anderson added 16 points, Greivis Vasquez 15 and Jason Smith 13.
The Spurs trailed most of the game with Popovich (undisclosed illness), Duncan (sore left knee) and Kawhi Leonard (left patella bruise) all sitting out.
Duncan's absence was noticeable, but Popovich's was more glaring - or less menacing, to be precise. Coach Mike Budenholzer's substitution pattern differed slightly than his boss', but the main difference was fewer glares and screams following missed defensive assignments - and Popovich may have screamed himself hoarse in the first half when New Orleans shot 63 percent from the field.
The Hornets made their first five attempts, missed a pair on one possession and then proceeded to make their next five in taking a 31-21 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
San Antonio picked up its defensive intensity midway through the fourth, resulting in three turnovers and four missed shots that resulted in a 12-2 run for a 101-89 lead with 2 minutes left in the game.
Parker's layup gave the Spurs a 72-70 lead, their first since leading 9-8 2 minutes into the game. The advantage was short-lived, as the Hornets went on a 7-0 run.
Splitter scored eight of the Spurs' first 10 points, with Parker picking up assists on three of the layups. Splitter drew two fouls on top draft pick Anthony Davis in his run.
San Antonio stared 4 for 11 on free throws, but offset it somewhat by going 7 for 16 on 3-pointers.
NOTES: Duncan missed only his second game of the season due to injury. Duncan first sat out Nov. 29 in Miami, along with Ginobili, Parker and Green. The quartet was sent home by Popovich, leading the NBA to fine the Spurs $250,000 for what Commissioner David Stern termed a "disservice to the league and our fans." . San Antonio signed Australian national team member Aron Baynes, a 6-foot-10 post. Contract terms were undisclosed. Baynes was averaging 13.8 points and 9.8 rebounds for Union Olimpija of the Slovenian Basketball League prior to signing with the Spurs. . Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington and players Ian Kinsler, Derek Holland, Josh Lindblom Brandon Snyder were in attendance. They were in San Antonio to promote the "Big League Weekend," a two-game, spring-training series against the San Diego Padres at the Alamodome. The series marks the first baseball games at the Alamodome, the former home of the Spurs. . Houston Astros players Brett Wallace and Jose Altuve were in attendance as part of the team's Winter CAREavan to promote their upcoming season, their first in the American League. Unlike the Rangers, who were sitting in box seats on the second level, the Astros were sitting courtside.