Parker's early turnovers not a factor as Spurs hand Kings another loss

SAN ANTONIO -- Gregg Popovich let his players figure this win out on their own.

Tony Parker committed five turnovers in the first 10 minutes but overcame the rough start by scoring 18 points to lead the Spurs to a 101-85 victory over the reeling Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Facing a Kings team that now has lost four in a row and is 3-17 since opening the season 4-5, Popovich did little talking to his players during timeouts.

"I did nothing to earn my money," Popovich said. "They [the players] coached. They communicated. They changed defenses, called plays. I just substituted players."

Parker was 8-of-17 from the floor and added six assists in 28 minutes as San Antonio (17-10) won for the eighth time in 10 games. The Spurs shot 52 percent and led from the 5:38 mark of the first quarter. They were 7-of-15 from the 3-point line.

Sacramento (7-22) was held to 40 percent shooting. The Kings dropped to 2-13 on the road.

Parker committed only one more turnover after the rocky first quarter, and the Spurs forced the Kings into 17 turnovers.

"We turned the ball over way too much," said Spurs guard Roger Mason, who scored 11 points in 18 minutes. "We cut that down in the second half. Our main thing going into the game was our defense. I think we did a good job containing them."

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and rookie George Hill each scored 10 as the Spurs led by as many as 21 points early in the fourth quarter and let their starters rest.

"Hopefully, we all learned a lesson from a team like that," Kings interim coach Kenny Natt said. "Their poise, the way they execute and take care of the basketball. Things like that. They gave us an A, No. 1 lesson on that."

John Salmons scored 22 points to lead Sacramento. Beno Udrih, a former Spurs player and backup to Parker, added 13.

Francisco Garcia added 10, but he struggled through a 3-of-13 shooting night.

"Especially in the second half we played better D," Mason said. "They didn't shoot well."

The Kings came out in the third quarter and scored 16 points.

After losing both games on the road last week against playoff teams, the Spurs have won two straight against teams with losing records. They finish a rare home back-to-back when they play Minnesota (4-22) on Tuesday night.

Parker, who had 10 assists and was two rebounds short of a triple-double Saturday against Toronto, was mistake-prone to open the game against the Kings. He committed five turnovers before getting a rest with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

The Kings led through the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game despite the Spurs opening 8-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point line.

But if they weren't hitting a shot, they were turning the ball over. The Spurs' seven first-quarter turnovers led to 11 points by the Kings.

"We worked hard early on defense," Natt said. "We got the steals and got the rebounds we were looking for, but we were turning the ball over and the ballgame got away from us."

With Parker on the bench and Hill running the team the last 2 minutes, San Antonio scored the final eight points of the quarter and led 33-22.

But Parker was mistake-free in the second quarter and finished with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting at halftime.

The Kings cut the 11-point first quarter lead to six when Bobby Brown hit a 3-pointer as the Spurs called a timeout with 9:04 left before halftime.

San Antonio outscored the Kings 20-9 during the next 6 minutes to go ahead by 17. The margin remained the same as the Spurs went to the locker room ahead 62-45.

"They were hitting their shots, and then we went through a spurt where we turned the ball over," Salmons said. "And we didn't get back into it after that."

Game notes
Kings G Quincy Douby did not dress because of a stomach virus. He had missed two of the last four games because of coach's decision. ... Three technical fouls were called in the game, against the Kings' Spencer Hawes, Brad Miller and the Spurs' Parker for separate incidents of arguing with the officials. ... Spurs C Fabricio Oberto did not dress for the third straight game because of a sore left foot, and he's not expected back for the next week. ... Udrih, who played for the Spurs for three seasons until being traded before the 2007-08 season, was cheered warmly when he was introduced in the Kings' starting lineup. ... The Spurs signed Malik Hairston, their second-round draft pick they had cut after preseason. Hairston, who played at Oregon last year, averaged 19.5 points in 11 games with the NBADL Austin Toros.