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Hawks cure for Spurs' road woes

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ATLANTA -- The San Antonio Spurs, determined to end their recent string of road losses, made a fourth-quarter statement against the Hawks.

Tony Parker scored 26 points and San Antonio moved closer to home-court advantage in the playoffs by ending a four-game road losing streak with a 97-90 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night.

The Spurs led only 81-79 midway through the final period before taking control with an 11-3 run.

''Finally!'' said Parker, who contrasted the Spurs' strong finish with the team's problems in closing out games in their recent six-game losing streak.

''If we don't learn from those, something's wrong with us,'' Parker said.

Manu Ginobili had 18 points and Tim Duncan had 17 for the Spurs, who had been 0-6 on the road against Eastern Conference teams which have clinched playoff berths.

The Spurs began the night 21/2 games ahead of the Lakers in the race for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

San Antonio ended the six-game losing streak with Sunday's home win over Phoenix. The Spurs took a more important step toward home-court advantage through the Western Conference playoffs by taking their first road win in almost three weeks.

''We were a little shaky the last couple weeks,'' Ginobili said. ''But we are still out there and we are optimistic, but yet I don't feel that we are playing our best basketball right now.''

Joe Johnson had 21 points and Jamal Crawford had 20 for the Hawks.

Atlanta's Al Horford said he could see a difference in the Spurs in the final period.

''I think they picked up the tempo a little bit, and it took us out of some things we wanted to run and how we wanted to do it,'' Horford said. ''They're just a great defensive team. They have a lot of guards that just keep attacking you in different ways.''

The Hawks were short-handed on their front line. Forward Josh Smith had swelling in his right knee and was not in uniform. Center Jason Collins did not return after suffering a sprained left ankle late in the first half.