Tim Duncan had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Orleans Hornets 100-80 on Sunday night in Game 4 to even the Western Conference semifinals at 2-2.
Tony Parker added 21 points for the Spurs, who are assured of a Game 6 back in San Antonio. Chris Paul scored 23 for the Hornets. Game 5 is Tuesday in New Orleans.
The Spurs led by as many as 27 and were ahead nearly the entire game. They shot 51 percent (39-of-76), while the Hornets were cold when it counted. They shot 37 percent through three quarters and finished 33-of-82 (40 percent) from the field.
The Spurs scored 40 points in the paint. New Orleans' plan to keep Parker out of the lane didn't work, as he knifed his way through heavy traffic or found openings to get to the rim, and hit jumpers.
Manu Ginobili, who also got to the rim at will in Game 3, wasn't as successful in Game 4. But he hit jumpers and two 3-pointers, finishing with 15 points. Duncan also had four blocks.
The Spurs outrebounded the Hornets 45-36 and outscored them 30-19 in the decisive third quarter.
The Hornets' David West had three blocks but was held to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting and was visibly frustrated. Reserve Jannero Pargo scored 11 for the Hornets.
The Hornets were hoping to return to New Orleans with a commanding 3-1 series lead, but allowed Duncan and Parker to shoot a combined 18-of-25 from the field. The only area where the duo struggled was its free-throw shooting. Duncan was 2-of-5 and Parker 5-of-8.
The Spurs were ahead for all but 3:24 in the first half, taking the lead for good after Parker's layup with 8:36 to play in the first quarter broke a 4-all tie.
Yeah the heads are hot in New Orleans and their cockiness on top of the severe whippin' they got in SA the game could sure get chippy and some possible nastiness out on the court tonight! I'm so pumped for this game!!!!! I'm really anxious to see how a healthly Spurs team returns to N.O. and how N.O. responds to the azz whippin'....whether West gets more physical or frustrated we could see an ejection tonight.....wonder if Danny Crawford will continue his fair calling or revert to taunting Timmy.....It's going to be a fun game to watch!!!!!!