SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs caught a break when the winless Houston Rockets decided to rest Yao Ming.
Then the Rockets (0-5), the only NBA team without a victory this season, gave the Spurs a few more.
Houston lost starters Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin to left-ankle sprains, then missed three 3-pointers in the frantic final seconds to let the Spurs escape with a 124-121 overtime victory Saturday night.
Tony Parker had 21 points and 14 assists for the Spurs, including seven points in overtime. Richard Jefferson added 22 points and was 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point line.
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And if San Antonio had managed to lose this one?
“We would be talking about it in three months, tomorrow, next week and in a month,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who scored 28.
Forcing the Spurs to overtime without Brooks, out of Seattle’s Franklin High, and Martin was of little consolation to the Rockets. Houston is off to its worst start since 1999, and left without knowing if it will have its starting backcourt available Sunday against Minnesota.
Tim Duncan shook off a miserable first half and finished with a double-double of his own – 19 points and 11 rebounds – for San Antonio.