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Parker returns and Spurs top Jazz 104-97 in OT

Saturday - 3/23/2013, 12:42am  ET

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, left, of France, talks to Spurs' Manu Ginobili, of Argentina, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 22, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs were happy to have Tony Parker back, especially in overtime when the All-Star point guard returned to his role as the team's closer.

Parker had 22 points in his return from an eight-game absence, Tim Duncan added 19 points and 16 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs escaped with a 104-97 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Amid cries of "MVP," Parker capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with 17.2 seconds left in overtime. He went 8 for 13 from the field and had five assists after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle. The Spurs were 6-2 in his absence, but struggled offensively.

"Tony was a little bit shy in the first half; he was just trying to feel his way a little bit," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "The game got tight at the end in regulation and then in overtime, and he was Tony Parker. Like I said, up until the time he got hurt, there wasn't a point guard in the league playing better than Tony Parker."

Parker had six points and two assists in overtime, including a cross-court pass to Kawhi Leonard for a 3-pointer to open overtime.

Leonard finished with 21 points, including five in overtime, and Danny Green had 15 points for San Antonio (53-16), which remains 2
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