The Atlanta Hawks just couldn't keep up with the San Antonio Spurs.
Tony Parker had 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half to lead the Spurs to a 97-90 win over the Hawks on Tuesday night at Philips Arena.
Manu Ginobili netted 18 and Tim Duncan had 17 for San Antonio, which moved one step closer to securing the No. 1 seed in the West.
Atlanta came out of the gate with a good bit of energy. They pestered the Spurs in the paint, scored easy buckets in transition and rattled a San Antonio team that was having trouble draining 3-pointers. Atlanta lead by as many as 11 on an Al Horford bucket with 4:57 left in the second. But San Antonio did what championship-caliber teams do, found a second gear to cut the lead at three at the break before taking over in the second half.
Parker lead the way, posting 10 points in the third quarter to give San Antonio the lead going into the final 12 minutes.
The Spurs finished the job in the fourth quarter using that tried-and-true play that works for good basketball teams: the simple pick-and-roll. Parker would use a screen, drive the lane and either take a shot, or pass it off to a teammate.
Parker's antics put the Spurs ahead 92-82 with 2:57 left, when he dished the basketball to Antonio McDyess for the easy running layup. Atlanta would get no closer than five thereafter.
The Hawks could have used Josh Smith, who sat this one out with a right knee injury.
Jason Collins started at center as Al Horford slid to Smith's spot at the four in this one. Collins helped bring a solid defensive effort for most of the first half. But Collins left the game after twisting an ankle while defending Duncan in the paint with about three minutes left in the second quarter. He did not return.
Joe Johnson has 21 points and Jamal Crawford posted 20 for the Hawks, who were destroyed 39-25 on the boards.