Parker scores 25, Spurs beat Hornets 99-94
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) A home game was exactly what the weary San Antonio Spurs needed.
Aided by a couple days of rest and a healthy roster, the Spurs fought off a late rally by the Hornets.
"It was great to be back (at home), and it is going to take a little time getting used to having those guys back," Duncan said. "A lot of adjustments right now, but it is good to be home and good to have everybody back to full strength."
The depth was evident in the second quarter when eight players scored as San Antonio went on a 19-9 run to build its largest lead. Parker's layup gave the Spurs a 52-36 lead with 3 minutes left in the first half.
Leonard made a 3-pointer during the run, scoring on his only attempt a minute after entering the game for the first time.
"I've been very anxious to play basketball," Leonard said. "I just took my time with the injury. I didn't want it to pop back up during the season, so I just took the time out to get better.
"I've been conditioning for two weeks, so I felt great."
Leonard's return allowed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to limit everyone's playing time, which proved critical in the final quarter.
New Orleans outscored San Antonio 33-27 in the fourth, including a jumper by Roger Mason that pulled the Hornets to 84-80 midway through the period.
But that was as close as the young Hornets came.
"The one thing that happens in a situation like that is you use so much energy to get back in the game that when you cut it to four, six or even tie it up, it's just tough," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "That's when you need a couple of guys who have been there and done that, who can get the ball at the end of games and draw a foul or get to the basket."
The Spurs have that player in Parker, who cut through the Hornets' defense for a driving layup following Mason's jumper. Nando De Colo followed with a 10-foot jumper and San Antonio went on a 9-4 run to regain control of the game.
"Tony has been doing that all season," Popovich said. "He is having a great year. He really feels the responsibility down the stretch in games to get something done. If we are a little bit flat or not making shots, that kind of thing, he has stepped up and been very confident in those situations."
The late rally was in contrast to a sloppy start. The teams were tied 4-all after the opening 4 minutes, going a combined 4 for 15 from the field with three turnovers.
Davis and Duncan both seemed to enjoy their second meeting of the season. Duncan spun and dunked on Davis with 7 minutes left in the first half as the Hornets rookie attempted to crowd the veteran All-Star on the low block.
With 5 minutes left in the game, Davis attempted to shoot after a whistle had stopped play, but Duncan started grabbing the rookie's shirt and held his arms down in jest as both smiled.
NOTES: The last time San Antonio had its entire roster available was Nov. 15, when the Spurs lost 104-100 at home to the New York Knicks. ... San Antonio has played 17 road games, the most of any team in the NBA this season. ... Hornets guard Eric Gordon (right knee) and big man Jason Smith (shoulder sprain) sat out.
Updated December 22, 2012