Basketball - NBA-Spurs smack Sixers to ride high in the West

Jan 5 (Reuters) - Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs maintained course in their bid for supremacy in the hotly contested Western Conference with a 109-86 rout of the struggling Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.


Guard Parker recorded 20 points and five assists while Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Tim Duncan 16 as the Spurs improved their record to 27-9 with a commanding display on home court.

Coming off their first loss in eight games, a 100-83 thrashing by the Knicks in New York on Thursday, San Antonio kept up the pressure on the pacesetting Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers for top spot in the West.

Bench player Spencer Hawes led the way with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting for Philadelphia, who slipped to 15-20 for the season with their third straight defeat.

With Danny Green and Ginobili each making two early three-pointers, the Spurs raced into a 31-21 lead after the opening quarter.

San Antonio continued to outshoot Philadelphia and with Duncan, Green and Ginobili all reaching double figures, they padded their advantage to 54-42 by halftime.

Parker exploded in the third, scoring 11 points with a dazzling array of step-back jump shots and driving layups as the Spurs forged ahead 81-63 and there was no way back from there for the Sixers. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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