Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/23

Game 1: Monday, December 23rd
Game 2: Sunday, March 30th

Spurs 92


Hornets 90

(41-33, 25-12 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    6:00 PM ET, March 30, 2003

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 25 25 16 2692
    NO 25 24 16 2590

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 33 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    NO: J. Mashburn 24 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Duncan's hustle, late 3-pointer too much for Hornets

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- After reaching 30 points for the second consecutive night, Tim Duncan had one more big play.

    Tim Duncan
    San Antonio Spurs
    72 23.5 12.9 4.0 .510 .708

    Having saved a possession by diving for a loose ball and calling timeout, Duncan hit a 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 32 seconds left as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the New Orleans Hornets 92-90 Sunday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

    ''It was kind of a have-to-take shot. I was lucky enough to make it,'' Duncan said. ''They kind of dropped off the inbounder and fronted the post, so I kind of stepped out and it turned into what it was.''

    Adding to the drama was Duncan going down briefly in the fourth quarter after apparently twisting his right ankle, which he sprained earlier in the season.

    ''I was a little worried when he went down,'' coach Gregg Popovich said. ''I told him we didn't want any heroes and if he couldn't play, he couldn't play. He looked at me like I was crazy so we left him in the game and thank goodness we did.''

    Duncan's 33 points and 12 rebounds came one night after he scored 30 points in 32 minutes in a blowout victory over the Utah Jazz.

    The 3-pointer was his sixth of the season. Duncan made 10 3-pointers in his first five NBA seasons -- seven of them during the 2000-01 season.

    ''He usually gets stronger as the season goes along, so it's not surprising that he's playing his best basketball at this particular time,'' said Malik Rose, who added 12 points off the bench. ''His range is expanding. He's always been able to hit the 15- to 17-footer consistently. It's just that lately he's gone out there a little more because he's been taking such a beating inside. It just shows his versatility.''

    Duncan's late 3 gave San Antonio a 91-86 lead after P.J. Brown missed a shot he normally makes -- an open 14-footer -- that could have tied the game.

    New Orleans had the momentum up to that point, having erased an 84-75 deficit with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 86 with 2:15 left.

    Stephen Jackson had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, while Tony Parker had 11 points and seven assists. Rose's output included seven consecutive points in the fourth quarter -- five of them on free throws -- as San Antonio took a nine-point lead, its largest of the game, with 5:55 left.

    San Antonio remained two games behind Midwest Division-leading Dallas, while New Orleans fell 2 games behind Indiana for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Jamal Mashburn led New Orleans with 24 points, while Baron Davis added 18, Jamaal Magloire 14 and Brown 13.

    Mashburn hit a 3-pointer, a finger roll off a spinning drive and a tough shot high off the glass as the Hornets rallied to tie the game. Davis converted a behind-the-back dribble on a spin move through the lane for a layup during New Orleans' final push.

    ''We got aggressive offensively and that got us back in the game, but it's a learning experience for us,'' Hornets coach Paul Silas said. ''They have won a championship, we haven't. If we learn from this we'll be fine.''

    San Antonio was able to push its lead as high as seven in the third quarter after New Orleans scored on only two of its first 11 possessions.

    Duncan made the score 60-53 when he hit a short bank shot as he was fouled and converted the free throw. With New Orleans later looking to cut the lead to three, Duncan stuffed Mashburn inside, forcing a jump ball, which Duncan won before following his own miss with a dunk on the other end, making the score 64-57.

    New Orleans' bench was able to help tighten the game, however. Kenny Anderson started a 6-0 run when Courtney Alexander found him on a baseline cut. Anderson then made a pair of free throws before Robert Traylor backed into the lane and hit a short turnaround, cutting the Spurs' lead to 66-65 heading into the fourth quarter.

    Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half as the lead changed hands 19 times, with neither team leading by more than four points.

    Game notes

    Hornets guard David Wesley, the team's second-leading scorer, missed his sixth consecutive game with a bruised left foot. Wesley had missed just 16 games in his previous five seasons. New Orleans is 3-3 without Wesley. ... Duncan's scoring and rebounding totals gave him 53 double-doubles. He has 27 double-doubles in his last 31 games. ... San Antonio went 6-0 on the road in March and has won 16 of 19 games overall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 90
    FGM-FGA 31-66 (.470) 36-77 (.468)
    3PM-3PA 3-7 (.429) 4-13 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 27-35 (.771) 14-17 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-36 8-39
    Assists 16 20
    Turnovers 12 13
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 27 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    New Orleans
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 33
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Jamal Mashburn Mashburn
    Points: 24
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0