SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The offense of Tim Duncan and the defense of Tony Parker turned away the red-hot Houston Rockets.
Duncan scored 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Parker made Steve Francis' afternoon a miserable one as the San Antonio Spurs posted their fourth straight victory, an 87-82 triumph over the Rockets.
Duncan's biggest basket came with one minute to play as he was fouled sinking a layup that gave the Spurs an 84-82 lead. After he tacked on the free throw, Stephen Jackson and Parker each hit 1-of-2 from the line in the final 15 seconds to ice the win.
Francis, who scored a career-high 44 points in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, was held to a season-low four points on 1-of-12 shooting, primarily by Parker.
"I was thrilled with (Tony's defense)," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He took it as a personal challenge."
"I just couldn't get any shots that I would normally take to fall," Francis said. "It was a tough game for me, individually, but I am really proud of the effort everyone displayed."
The loss snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the Rockets.
David Robinson scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Parker collected 11 points, eight assists and six boards for San Antonio, which also has been hot.
San Antonio has won seven of its last eight to move a season-high 12 games over .500. At home, it has won nine in a row since a loss to Sacramento on December 8.
Robinson's highest scoring output of the month came at the expense of rookie Yao Ming.
"He took advantage of not being closely guarded," Popovich said.
"I just had a hard time getting my legs under me, but they made it very tough for me defensively," said Yao, who finished with 11 points and eight boards in 24 minutes.
The Spurs led, 72-59, after three quarters and appeared to have the game well in hand until Maurice Taylor led the Rockets back. After Steve Kerr's 14-footer with 9:20 left gave San Antonio a 76-65 advantage, Taylor scored six points in a 15-2 run.
Terence Morris' lay-in with 4:37 capped the burst and gave the Rockets their first lead since the first quarter at 80-78.
Parker and Moochie Norris exchanged baskets before Duncan hit the layup and was fouled by Taylor.
"I thought we had a pretty good hold of (the game), then we had a couple of turnovers in a row and a couple of bad shots in a row," Duncan said. "They're a kind of high-octane offense, they can shoot the ball and they can score. They just got back into the game."
Morris and Cuttino Mobley each scored 15 points for Houston, which held a 49-39 rebounding edge but shot just 41 percent in losing its second straight road game.
"I was really proud of the fight we displayed tonight," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We definitely gave ourselved opportunities at the end to take the lead, but we just came up short."
The Spurs shot just 43 percent (32-of-74) from the floor, but were on target from the free throw line. They hit their first 18 foul shots and 21-of-24 overall, while the Rockets sank eight of just 10 shots from the stripe.
Trailing 48-41 at halftime, Houston narrowed the gap to 50-48 on Mobley's bucket 2:19 into the third quarter. But Duncan scored four points in a 7-2 spurt, including a dunk with 6:54 left that restored the seven-point lead.