SEATTLE, March 29 (Ticker) --
"The Glove" got free at the right time.
made a driving layup with 6.7 seconds remaining as
the Seattle SuperSonics handed the San Antonio Spurs their
second straight loss, 79-76.
Nicknamed "The Glove" for his defensive prowess, Payton was
hounded all night by Bruce Bowen
-- the Spurs' best perimeter
defender. But Payton, also adept on the offensive end, made the
game's biggest play in the final seconds.
With the game tied, Payton drove from the top of key around
Bowen before putting up a shot over 7-footer Tim Duncan
dropped through to give the Sonics a 78-76 lead.
NBA TV highlights from|
GP's clutch layup:
Gary Payton is averaging a career high in assists this season.
"They do such a good job of jumping the pick-and-roll that we
wanted four shooters and a big, well five shooters, including
," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "But we
wanted to just fake the pick and get their big guys to cheat up
and clear a side for Gary to get to the basket. Tonight, we
were able to do that and it worked well. We executed that well."
"When I saw the play developing, I knew they were shading him
to the right and that he was going to spin back to his left and
go to the basket," Sonics forward Vin Baker
said. "I knew at
that point before, like five seconds before he started that, he
was going to be able to get to the basket with ease."
Payton finished with 19 points and eight assists.
Duncan, who had 25 points and 16 rebounds, had a chance to tie
it but missed a jumper over Baker and 7-foot rookie Jerome
grabbed the rebound. James made 1-of-2 foul shots with
1.3 seconds left, and the Spurs were unable to get up another
"We just didn't make the plays," said Duncan, who went 9-of-19
from the floor. "I thought they did a great job turning up the
defense. They had good defensive balance throughout the game."
The Spurs' mini-skid comes on the heels of an NBA season-high
13-game winning streak and has dropped them one game behind
first-place Dallas in the Midwest Division.
In a tight defensive game where neither team led by more than
five points in the second half, the Sonics managed a 70-65
advantage with 5:11 remaining on a 17-footer by Payton, who
made 9-of-22 shots from the field.
But the Spurs battled back, tying it at 74-74 with 2:17 to play
on a 3-pointer by Steve Smith
After Brent Barry
split a pair of foul shots, David Robinson
made a pair from the line, giving San Antonio the lead with 80
seconds to play. Baker made 1-of-2 from the line 29 seconds
later to tie it.
Smith had a chance to give the Spurs the lead with under 30
seconds left, but missed a 3-pointer off the front rim. He
finished with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Robinson and Duncan each had effective games on the inside. But
James hung in despite foul trouble and finished with 11 points
on 5-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes.
Barry added 11 points and Desmond Mason
10 for the Sonics, who
shot 43 percent (36-of-84). San Antonio shot 41 percent
(29-of-70) and committed 17 turnovers.