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Sonics end three-game slide with big rally

11/25/2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Down 18 points and staring at a fourth
straight loss, the Seattle SuperSonics pulled out a tough road win
over the San Antonio Spurs.

Brent Barry's second basket of the game, a 3-point shot with 4.7
seconds remaining, gave Seattle a 91-90 victory over San Antonio,
which saw its four-game winning streak come to a halt.

Seattle, which trailed from the second quarter until Barry's
shot, was led by Gary Payton's 26 points. Desmond Mason added 15,
and Rashard Lewis had 13.

''We made some big shots down the stretch,'' Seattle coach Nate
McMillan said. ''Our guys never gave up and gave us a chance to
win. We have had rough times over the last three games, but I was
very pleased with the confidence level that we have and how well we
are doing as a team. I think this is a win we can definitely
celebrate.''

Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 22 points, and David Robinson
added 18 points and 17 rebounds.

''It was a tough loss for us, a great win for Seattle,'' Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich said. ''Both teams competed well. They caught
fire down the stretch and hurt us with their zone defense. They
knocked down their shots.''

After trailing by as many as 18, Seattle went on an 11-0 run at
the end of the third quarter and at the start of the fourth to
close within 74-69 with 9:09 remaining.

San Antonio responded with a 12-4 run to lead 85-73 on a basket
by Stephen Jackson with 5:20 to play.

Trailing 87-79, Seattle closed the gap with consecutive 3-point
baskets by Lewis and Mason to trail 87-85 with 2:20 remaining.

After a short miss by Mason that could have tied it with 1:16
remaining, Duncan hit a turnaround jump shot to push the lead to
89-85 with 1:00 to play.

Payton brought Seattle within 89-88 with a 3-point field goal
with 34.8 seconds remaining.

Duncan gave San Antonio a 90-88 lead with one free throw with
7.8 seconds to play, only to see Barry hit the winning shot from
the top of the key.

Jackson missed on a 3-point field goal attempt at the buzzer
that could have given San Antonio the win.

''I was just happy that I knocked it down,'' said Barry, who
finished with five points. ''We really did a great job effort-wise.
I felt I had a good look to the basket, and I just took it and it
felt good.''

''They made shots down the stretch,'' said Duncan, who also
grabbed 13 rebounds. ''They made the most of their shots late. Most
of them were contested. Gary's (Payton) and Barry's both were taken
with a hand in their face, but both were great shots.''

Seattle outscored San Antonio 26-16 in the fourth quarter.

''This win will give us a lot of confidence, especially after
the loss last night,'' said Lewis after Seattle rebounded from a
115-105 loss at Dallas on Saturday night.

Leading 49-44 at halftime, San Antonio opened the third quarter
with a 12-4 run to lead 61-48 on Bruce Bowen's 3-point field goal
with 8:01 to play in the period.

San Antonio stretched its lead to 73-55 on a dunk by Steve Smith
with 3:02 remaining in the quarter.

''They made tough shots, they hit some tough 3s,'' Robinson
said. ''We didn't execute down the stretch and let this one slip
through our fingers. Their zone defense hurt us a little but we
just had a few wasted possessions and let them hang around.''

Seattle ended the period with a 7-0 run and trailed 74-65 going
to the fourth quarter.

San Antonio outscored Seattle 28-21 in the second quarter and
led 49-44 at halftime behind 12 points from Robinson and 10 from
Duncan. Payton kept Seattle in the game with 17 points over the
first 24 minutes.

Game notes
Running at every opportunity, Seattle had 24 fast break
points, to only seven for San Antonio ... Seattle evened the series
between the teams at 55 wins apiece ... Seattle had lost five
straight in San Antonio. ... The Spurs are 6-2 in their new home
arena. ... In 14 games, San Antonio has allowed only one team
(Portland on Nov. 9) to shoot better than 50 percent from the
field. Seattle shot 39.6 percent. ... Payton has started and scored
double figures in 126 consecutive games.