Now Parker and the Spurs look to maintain their momentum following the holiday break, seeking their 12th consecutive victory in a matchup with the Orlando Magic.
A sprained ankle forced Parker to miss the first seven games of the season, but as he’s gotten healthier, so has San Antonio.
Parker has had at least 10 assists six times during the current 11-game win streak, which has pushed the Spurs from the bottom of Midwest Division to the top.
“My ankle is 100 percent now and it really makes a big difference when I can go full speed,” Parker said after getting 19 points and 14 assists in Tuesday’s 111-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It’s being able to go where I want on the floor and penetrate and be effective.”
In only one game during the streak has Parker not had at least 15 points or 10 assists.
Tim Duncan has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in five straight games for San Antonio, which is seeking its longest win streak since a 13-game run during March 2002.
The first of the Spurs’ 11 victories on this streak came in Orlando on Dec. 5, when Duncan scored a season-best 47 points—six shy of his career high.
One night later, the Magic fell at Dallas for their 19th straight loss, but they have since bounced back to win seven of 10.
”(McGrady) understands that it’s about our team and what he does for our team in terms of making us better,” Magic coach Johnny Davis said.
McGrady’s new starting backcourt mate is also making the Magic better. Veteran point guard Rod Strickland, signed in late November, has started the last five games, with Orlando going 4-1.
In the four victories, Strickland has averaged 12.3 points and 8.0 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field. In the only loss—95-73 at Philadelphia on Monday—he had four points on 1-for-5 shooting with no assists.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 24): Magic - 7th place, 7 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Spurs - 1st place (tied), Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Magic - McGrady, 24.6 ppg and 5.8 apg; Gooden, 8.1 rpg. Spurs - Duncan, 22.5 ppg and 12.9 rpg; Parker, 6.2 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Spurs, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 5; Spurs, 105-94. At Orlando, Fla., Duncan shot 19-of-34 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds. McGrady scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter to give the Magic a five-point lead, but the Spurs held them to 5-of-21 shooting in the fourth and ended the game on an 18-7 run.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Magic - 5-10 on the road; Spurs - 12-3 at home.