Seattle — No disrespect intended, but Tony Parker isn't afraid of Gary Payton.
"I'm going to go at him and I'm not going to back down," San Antonio's rookie point guard said of Seattle's eight-time All-Star. "I like Gary Payton. Oh, yeah, I love Gary Payton."
Tim Duncan had 27 points and 13 rebounds, and Parker, a 19-year-old lightning quick guard from the French A League, added 23 points as the Spurs beat the Sonics, 102-75, to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Game 4 of the best-of-five series will be played in Seattle on Wednesday night. If a Game 5 is necessary, it will be played Friday night in San Antonio.
Payton couldn't handle Parker on defense, although he did lead the Sonics with 20 points.
"He got away all the time," said a frustrated Payton, who has made the NBA's all-defensive first team for eight consecutive seasons.
The Spurs won without starting center, David Robinson, who was resting his injured back in San Antonio and missed a second straight game.
Parker, the son of former Loyola of Chicago player Tony Parker Sr. and a native of Belgium, showed he was on the verge of becoming a standout in the NBA with his career playoff high. He was 10-for-15 from the field and had five rebounds and four assists.
He had 21 and 13 points in each of the first two playoff games.
Parker, who will turn 20 on May 17, said he watched videos of Payton when he was growing up in Europe. Payton is 33.