SAN ANTONIO, April 3 (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan
wasn't making his shots down
the stretch, so he did some other things to help the San Antonio
Spurs end their slide.
Duncan found Tony Parker
for the go-ahead jumper with 6.8
seconds left and partially blocked Predrag Drobjnak's
tying drive as the Spurs snapped a three-game losing streak
with a 90-88 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
Duncan had 30 points on 12-of-26 shooting but did not score in
the final 8 1/2 minutes, missing his last three shots and
committing a pair of turnovers.
As Duncan struggled, the SuperSonics rallied from a 10-point
deficit. They pulled into an 88-88 tie on a lane jumper by
with 1:52 remaining but did not score again.
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David Robinson continued his hot play by making nine of 12 shots and pulling down nine boards.
D. Clarke Evans
Duncan harassed Vin Baker
into an airball from the left
baseline with 33 seconds to play. At the other end, he took a
pass in the low post and immediately was double-teamed by Baker
and defensive demon Gary Payton
"They were double-teaming. We did a better job of spacing down
the stretch," Duncan said.
"He did a great job getting rid of the ball," Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich said. "When you're double-teamed, the last thing you
want to do is take a bad shot. He's an unselfish player."
Duncan calmly passed to the left elbow to Parker, who had
missed his first five shots but buried the open 18-footer.
"He's had some good guts for us all year long," Popovich said.
"He's made some shots down the stretch. He's never afraid to
take a shot."
"If you wanted anybody out there to shoot it, tonight it was
Parker," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "But he made that
Seattle had a chance to tie. Shammond Williams
baseline and shoveled to a cutting Drobjnak, but Duncan -- who
also had 18 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks -- joined
is getting a piece of the shot and the Spurs ran out
"It was Malik Rose's block at the end," Duncan said. "We had
six seconds, so we needed something that would develop quick,
like a pick-and-roll, and it was important to get good spacing
and avoid the double-team," McMillan said. "It ended up going
to Shammond Williams in the corner and that is not what we
had 20 points and nine rebounds and Steve Smith
scored 19 points for the Spurs, who had won a league
season-high 13 in a row before their slide. San Antonio has
won nine straight home games.
However, the Spurs again played poorly in the fourth quarter,
which they did during their skid.
"It doesn't matter if we're winning 13 or losing three," Duncan
said. "We need to get rolling down the stretch, come out with
a lot better focus in the second half of games."
Payton had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the
Sonics (43-33), who are just one-half game in front of Utah for
seventh place in the Western Conference. Seattle has lost five
straight visits to San Antonio.
"We're OK," Payton said. "We know that we can play with these
guys. Sometimes things just don't go your way."
The Spurs led by 15 points late in the third quarter and still
held an 85-75 advantage after Danny Ferry's
3-pointer with 7:15
remaining. The Sonics scored 13 of the next 16 points as
Payton and James had two baskets each.
Seattle shot 57 percent in the first half and opened a 54-45
lead before San Antonio roared back in the third quarter.
Robinson scored 13 points and Duncan 12 as the Spurs opened a
76-61 lead with 3:08 remaining.
"I love to pass to David to find him and get him rolling," said
Duncan, who set up Robinson with several lob passes. "It gets
his confidence up and gets our team rolling. Just put it up
there and get the crowd into it."
Duncan also gave Seattle guard Brent Barry
five stitches over
the right eye with an inadvertent elbow. However, the Sonics
closed the quarter with an 8-0 burst, then continued the rally
in the fourth quarter, when Barry returned.
The Spurs shot 49 percent (37-of-76) and held a 42-34
rebounding edge. Baker scored 14 points, James added 12 and
Barry 11 for the Sonics, who also shot 49 percent (39-of-79).