First loss in the triangle
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81
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New York @
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Record: 2-4
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tony Parker gave the San Antonio Spurs the complete game they were waiting for.

Parker had 18 points and a season-high nine assists, leading San Antonio to a 99-81 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. The slick point guard, who signed a $66 million contract extension just before the season began, was held to four points or less and four assists in two of his previous three games.

"I was trying to be more aggressive and tried to get everybody involved,'' Parker said. "I found a lot of my teammates a lot of open shots, and my shot will come back maybe.''

San Antonio improved to 6-1 and finished with 25 assists to 14 for New York.

"They're an unselfish group of guys, and they're getting better and better,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Parker also played tight defense on Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury, who managed only three shots and three points in the first half. Marbury, who has dominated Parker in past matchups, finished with 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

The Knicks' starting five shot only 38 percent, but Marbury blamed the one-sided outcome on New York's inability to get back against the Spurs' running game.

"The transition defense was horrendous tonight,'' he said. "You have to do it on both ends. Your offense can't create your defense -- your defense creates your offense.''

Tim Duncan had 17 points and 10 rebounds. He sparked a key burst in the third quarter that pushed San Antonio's lead into double digits.

Bruce Bowen, coming off a career-high 22 points at Atlanta on Saturday, added 13. Brent Barry had 12 for the Spurs -- including 3-for-5 shooting on 3-pointers.

The Spurs, who led by six at halftime, shot 52 percent after the break while holding the Knicks to only 36 percent in the second half. Still, New York pulled to 54-52 with eight minutes left in the third quarter on a tip-in by Nazr Mohammed.

But Duncan made a 12-foot turnaround jumper to start a 13-4 run for the Spurs, and the lead rarely fell below 10 points thereafter.

Another 13-4 burst midway through the fourth quarter increased San Antonio's advantage to 91-73.

Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 16 and Tim Thomas had 15, but together they made only 11 of 30 shots.

"Tim Thomas is trying too hard right now,'' New York coach Lenny Wilkens said. "He just has to let it happen.''

Mohammed had 13 points for the Knicks but shot 4-for-11. Kurt Thomas had 11 rebounds.

New York dominated the opening quarter and the Spurs took over in the second.

A free throw by Jerome Williams gave New York a 24-17 lead, its biggest of the night, but San Antonio came back with a 13-3 run to take the lead for good.

The Spurs extended their advantage to 50-42 on a 3-pointer by Manu Ginobili with about two minutes left in the half.

Notes:
The Spurs made 29 of 33 free throws (93.8 percent). Coming into the game, they were shooting only 70 percent at the line, among the worst in the NBA. ... Barry, signed for his perimeter skills, has made at least one 3-pointer in all seven Spurs games this season. ... The Knicks are 9-24 in San Antonio. ... New York will complete the Texas Triangle with games in Dallas on Thursday and Houston on Friday.

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