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Duncan, Spurs snap four-game road losing streak

12/19/2002

SEATTLE (AP) -- Nate McMillan didn't like the way this one was
whistled.

Tony Parker scored 22 points and Tim Duncan narrowly missed a
triple-double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as the
San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Seattle SuperSonics 91-88 in a
seesaw game Wednesday night.

"Both teams could have easily won or lost this game,'' San
Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

David Robinson scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds and Steve
Smith scored 13 points off the bench as the Spurs snapped a
four-game road losing streak.

Afterward, McMillan complained about what didn't happen.

"I don't know what was going on,'' McMillan said. "A lot of
the calls were missed, calls that we thought we deserved and they
cost us the game. It's tough to overcome.''

The most questionable call came with just over two minutes to go
and the Spurs leading 88-81. Desmond Mason put up a shot in the
paint as three defenders swarmed him, and Duncan was credited with
one of his four blocked shots.

No foul was called, San Antonio came away with the ball and
McMillan was assessed a technical foul.

"I thought it was bad officiating,'' McMillan said. "Mase got
cracked under the basket and didn't get the call. Those are
obvious.''

Gary Payton had 25 points and eight assists, Vladimir Radmanovic
scored 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting, Rashard Lewis added 15 points
and Brent Barry had 12. The Sonics, though, missed two late shots
that would have forced overtime.

"We tried going in to Rashard on the block to force a mismatch,
but there was just a strange flow to the game tonight,'' Barry
said.

With the Spurs ahead 91-88, Duncan threw an ill-advised
crosscourt pass to Stephen Jackson in the left corner. It was off
the mark, and the turnover gave Seattle the ball with 16.8 seconds
to go.

Lewis drove and flipped a shot from the left side of the key
over the basket. The ball went out of bounds and officials
determined the Spurs touched it last, giving Seattle another
possession with 9.8 seconds to play.

Barry inbounded to Lewis, who threw up a 25-footer as Duncan
tried to get a hand up near the sideline in front of the San
Antonio bench. The Spurs collected the rebound with 5.4 seconds
remaining.

"I didn't force him there. He just went,'' Duncan said.

Danny Ferry was ready to inbound when Mason drew an offensive
foul on Smith, giving the Sonics yet another chance. After a
timeout, Payton missed a straightaway 27-footer just before the
horn, his only fourth-quarter shot.

"It just happens sometimes,'' Popovich said when asked how the
Spurs defended Payton in the fourth period. "You guys want a
really amazing answer or an amazing defense, but we didn't do
anything.''

It was tied at 80 at the five-minute mark before Duncan scored
twice on tip-ins during a 9-1 burst over the next three minutes.

"He just had his fingertips around the tin all night,'' Barry
said. "That's pretty demoralizing when you play defense for 20
seconds and force a bad shot and all of a sudden the guy just tips
the ball in.''

The Sonics, though, charged back. Radmanovic hit a 3-pointer and
a jumper and Barry threw down a dunk over Duncan to pull the Sonics
to 91-88 with 49 seconds to go.

"We have a little too much size for them and they have a little
too much speed and shooting for us,'' Duncan said. "We're up eight
or nine points down the stretch and they hit two or three in a row.
It makes it a whole new ballgame.''

Game notes
Sonics G Kenny Anderson was fined an undisclosed amount for
missing Tuesday's practice. He suited up but didn't play. ...
Parker was whistled for a third-quarter technical after he pulled
his jersey over his head to protest a foul call. Spurs F Bruce
Bowen continued to argue the call and got a technical, too. ...
Spurs G Steve Kerr didn't make the trip because of a family
emergency.