Parker not missing beat in return

Tony ParkerAfter missing six games with what San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich called a “variety of maladies," point guard Tony Parker made his return in a big way. He scored 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks last Sunday. The biggest news from this week is that the Spurs are finally healthy as a team and we may finally get to see what this team can really do as we begin the final stretch of the regular season.

Parker got off to a hot start as he scored 10 of first 17 for Spurs, rust? What is this rust everyone was speaking of? He did his damage with penetration of the Dallas defense and was on fire from midrange.

On Tuesday in Cleveland, Parker struggled as he shot 3-for-11 and finished with just seven points. Backup point guard Patty Mills filled in nicely as he had 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range. It was expected Parker would struggle as he needed to find his rhythm in just his second game back from injury.

On Thursday against the two-time defending champions Miami Heat, Parker started strong and did most of his damage in the first half. He finished with 17 points, with 14 coming in the first half. He also dished out four assists and had two steals on 6-of-14 shooting. He used his aggressive offense to slash past the Miami defense and it showed as the team built a 17-point lead for most of the night.

Parker is the leading scorer for San Antonio this season, averaging 17.7 points per game. He is also making 50.1 percent of his field goal attempts and is 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The Spurs were 5-1 in the six straight games Parker missed and are 9-2 this season when he sits out.

About Stephen Anderson

Stephen serves as an editor or writer at several Project Spurs Network sites, including Project Spurs, Stars Hoops, Rampage Central and Red Black 90. He is studying at the University of the Incarnate Word and brings his unique writing style from Minute By Minute Sports. He also is a staff writer for UK entertainment website Reality Box. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@imsteveanderson) for all the latest news on San Antonio area sports.