Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/27

Game 1: Friday, December 27th
Game 2: Friday, January 17th

Spurs 79

(18-11, 5-8 away)

Hawks 81

(12-16, 10-4 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    7:30 PM ET, December 27, 2002

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 19 15 23 2279
    ATL 16 28 18 1981

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 27 Pts, 15 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Atl: S. Abdur-Rahim 27 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Terry, after being chastised, nails the game-winner

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Minutes after giving Jason Terry an earful for an untimely turnover, coach Terry Stotts drew up a play for Terry to win the game.

    Darvin Ham

    Atlanta's Darvin Ham, right, shows the new defensive intensity of the Hawks as he battles with Malik Rose of the Spurs.

    It worked perfectly.

    Terry hit a fallaway jumper at the buzzer to give Stotts a victory in his debut as the Atlanta Hawks beat the San Antonio Spurs 81-79 Friday night.

    Stotts, a longtime assistant who joined the team this summer, took over for Lon Kruger, who was fired Thursday.

    ''Amazing as it sounds, that's the way I drew it up,'' Stotts said. ''You've got to love shooters. I'm glad this one dropped, because this team needed a confidence-builder. It's been a rough stretch.''

    After Tim Duncan tied it with a hook from in close, Terry took an inbound pass with 4.3 seconds left and dribbled past Tony Parker and Bruce Bowen. He hoisted an off-balance, line-drive 18-footer just before the final horn, and the ball swished through.

    Terry's teammates mobbed him at halfcourt, and the referees immediately ruled the shot was good. They used a video replay afterward to officially count the basket.

    ''I got my head down a couple times and he came right to me,'' Terry said of Stotts. ''I made mistakes, but he stuck with me and showed confidence in me.''

    And the final play?

    ''He drew it up. What can I say?'' Terry said.

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who won for only the second time in eight games. Glenn Robinson added 18, and Terry had 13.

    Tim Duncan had 20 of his 27 points in the first half for the Spurs, who'd won four in a row but shot only 44 percent against one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Atlanta entered allowing 98.6 points a game, sixth-worst in the NBA.

    ''We had some good stretches, but we weren't consistent enough,'' San Antonio center David Robinson said. ''We normally play more good minutes than the other team.''

    With Stotts at the helm, the Hawks showed a renewed interest in defense. Point guard Mike Wilks, who joined the team Tuesday and started in place of Ira Newble, picked up his man fullcourt throughout. He drew one offensive foul from Tony Parker and added two steals in the first game of his career.

    ''It was an ugly game,'' Spurs guard Stephen Jackson said. ''They were ready to play. I don't know if it had anything to do with the coach or not.''

    Wilks made his first two shots and finished with seven points, four assists and no turnovers.

    ''Jason Terry told me to come to him with any questions I had,'' Wilks said. ''They kept talking to me out there. If I got confused, they pointed me in the right direction.''

    There were other subtle changes, too. Dion Glover, a regular in Kruger's rotation, didn't play for the first time in nearly a month.

    ''I have 11 guys that I can play, but I can't play 11 guys,'' Stotts said of his substitution pattern. ''Tonight, it was Mike Wilks' turn. Tomorrow night, it might be Dion or somebody else.''

    Stotts openly chastised Terry for a blind, over-the-shoulder pass that led to a turnover in the fourth quarter. With a timeout coming and a foul called on Glenn Robinson, Stotts glared at Terry and met him on the court, sternly talking into his ear for about five seconds.

    After he was done, he slapped Terry on his rear and walked with him to the huddle.

    ''J.T. responds,'' Stotts said. ''He doesn't mean to screw up.''

    But Stotts enjoyed his time on the court, too, even taking time to accept congratulations from Bowen during a deadball in the first half.

    ''One of the best things about his experience so far is how happy people are for me,'' Stotts said. ''I haven't actually been happy, but I have a lot of people who are happy for me.''

    Game notes

    Hawks forward Chris Crawford missed his 11th consecutive game with an inflamed knee. He hasn't been on the injured list, since it's full with three players. ... David Robinson, who's retiring after this season, made his final appearance in Atlanta. ... The crowd of 13,453 was the third in a row of more than 10,000 in Philips Arena, only the second time this season that's happened.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 81
    FGM-FGA 31-70 (.443) 34-75 (.453)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 13-19 (.684) 9-12 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 12-37
    Assists 13 20
    Turnovers 17 13
    Steals 4 6
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 3 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 27
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 27
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1