New OrleansHornetsNO
0-1, 0-1 Away
1-0, 1-0 Home

Parker suffers hard fall, leaves game in Spurs' win

SAN ANTONIO -- Other than Tony Parker crashing to the floor, it was everything the revamped San Antonio Spurs wanted for a season opener.

Parker walked back to the bench OK after a hard landing in the third quarter, leaving the game with 17 points but with rookie DeJuan Blair and the Spurs already well in command of the New Orleans Hornets in a 113-96 victory on Wednesday night.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker simply had the wind knocked out of him after falling to the court almost horizontally following a layup. Blair, meanwhile, continues enticing the Spurs after a dominant preseason, getting 14 points and 11 rebounds in his NBA debut.

The Spurs spent atypically lavishly this summer to add veterans Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess. But so far, it's been the former All-American from Pitt getting the most buzz.

"He's showing really good maturity so far," Popovich said. "You just have to give him credit. He's got a great way about him and let the game come to him."

Chris Paul scored 26 points and got a technical foul along with Jefferson after they met fact-to-face at midcourt following Parker's hard fall. Both downplayed the exchange after the game, and Paul kept his sense of humor even though New Orleans was never closer than 15 points in the second half.

"We hoped to go 82-0, but we knew it wasn't too feasible," Paul said.

Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his Hornets debut after sitting out the preseason with an injured toe. He played 29 minutes, shooting 8 of 14 from the floor.

Also re-emerging healthy was Manu Ginobili, who scored 16 points. He hobbled through last season with bad ankles. Tim Duncan had nine points and 12 rebounds.

Parker was 6 of 9 from the field and had six assists before his hard landing set off a chorus of gasps at the AT&T Center. Parker had bumped off Hilton Armstrong in mid-air while putting up the layup, and remained sideways on the ground before turning over on his back and catching his breath.

He went to the bench with 2:21 left in the third and was done for the night. Parker left the locker room without speaking to reporters but appeared fine.

Ginobili, a former NBA sixth man of the year, became a starter last season but opened the season back on the bench for the revamped Spurs.

Hornets coach Byron Scott called Blair "a monster."

"You know, a 6-5, 6-6 center who comes in and plays 22 minutes and gets 14-11 is pretty impressive," Scott said. "Especially for a rookie."

Blair, whose locker is next to Duncan's, said he's simply the beneficiary of being on a good team.

"My teammates are taking me under their wing and showing me what to do," Blair said. "It's been excellent to have that."

The summer spending spree put the Spurs over the luxury tax threshold for one of the few times in the Duncan era. The hopeful payoff is a long season of what the Spurs had plenty of against New Orleans: balanced scoring providing an offensive punch that San Antonio sorely lacked last season.

Six players for the Spurs scored in double figures. Matt Bonner and Roger Mason had 11 apiece and Michael Finley had 10.

Jefferson debuted in the starting lineup but struggled, scoring five points on 1 of 7 shooting. McDyess had nine points off the bench.

Poor shooting put the Hornets in a hole quickly. New Orleans missed 10 consecutive shots over a 6-minute span in the first half while the Spurs rolled to a 16-0 run midway through the second quarter.

Game notes
The Spurs rewarded guard George Hill before the game by exercising the option on his contract for next season. Popovich teased Hill as his "favorite player" throughout training camp but said, straight-faced, before the game that Hill has picked up the game after one season as well as Parker did. ...The Spurs have beaten New Orleans in nine of the last 10 games in San Antonio.