Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Sunday, November 24th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 18th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 8th
Game 4: Friday, April 11th

SuperSonics 86

(39-40, 15-24 away)

Spurs 94


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 11, 2003

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 20 19 25 2286
    SA 31 22 18 2394

    Top Performers

    Sea: R. Allen 32 Pts, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    SA: T. Duncan 18 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 6 Blk

    Spurs beat Sonics to move two games up in the West

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- For the second consecutive game, the San Antonio Spurs had a second-half collapse. But they still managed to win their 11th in a row, and put more distance between themselves and their top rival.

    Malik Rose scored 20 points, and Tim Duncan added 18 as the Spurs, who led by as many as 21, held off a late run by the Seattle SuperSonics to post a 94-86 victory Friday night.

    The victory pushed the Spurs' NBA-best record to 59-20, two games ahead of Dallas in the race for the top seed in the Western Conference. The Mavericks lost to Utah, 95-92.

    The Sonics had cut San Antonio's lead to 86-82 on Brent Barry's alley-oop pass to Rashard Lewis with 2:31 left in the game. The Spurs, who nearly blew a 15-point lead against Portland on Wednesday, then won the game at the free throw line. Manu Ginobili made four, and Rose and Tony Parker made two each over the final two minutes.

    ''If it's a win, we'll take it,'' Parker said. ''This one was ugly in the second half.''

    Parker finished with 16 points, Ginobili 15 and Speedy Claxton 13. Duncan led all rebounders with 15.

    Claxton was 4-for-5 from the floor and sparked the Spurs when they were struggling in the second half. He also made a key block on a jumper by Kevin Ollie with 2:04 left.

    ''That's why they got me here -- to step up the tempo of the game,'' Claxton said. ''They were executing and throwing us some junk defenses that bothered us.''

    Ray Allen had 32 points to lead the Sonics, who were eliminated from playoff contention when Phoenix beat Golden State later on Friday.

    Allen was 8-for-11 from the floor in the second half after his prime defender, Bruce Bowen, was ejected for picking up his second technical foul.

    ''Just because they had the best record in the league didn't mean I was going to come in here and roll over,'' Allen said.

    Seattle coach Nate McMillan and several Seattle players complained about the lopsided number of fouls called on them. The Sonics were whistled 36 times, giving the Spurs 49 free throws. The Spurs committed only 20 fouls.

    ''Obviously they won it at the charity stripe,'' said Barry, whose team went to the line only 17 times. ''And tonight I can see why it's called that -- the charity stripe.''

    Lewis scored 13 points and Predrag Drobnjak 12 for the SuperSonics.

    Trailing by 12 with little more than a minute remaining in the third quarter, Seattle trimmed San Antonio's lead to 69-64 on a 3-pointer by Drobnjak, a layup by Lewis and two free throws by Ollie. Claxton then hit a 20-footer with 0.7 seconds left to make it 71-64 heading into the fourth.

    ''I felt like we didn't play until the second half,'' McMillan said. ''Once we got that sense of urgency, we did get back in it. We just couldn't get over the hump.''

    The Spurs' biggest lead was 21, 52-31, with 3:04 remaining before halftime when Parker made his second 3-pointer in as many possessions. The Sonics, laboring to defend San Antonio's big men inside, committed 19 fouls in the first half that the Spurs turned into 12 points at the free throw line.

    Barry led Seattle on an 8-1 burst by making a pair of 3-pointers in the final 1:15 of the half to cut the Sonics' deficit to 53-39.

    Game notes

    San Antonio plays at Phoenix on Sunday and at Utah on Monday before wrapping up the regular season at home Wednesday against Dallas. ... Spurs starting guard Stephen Jackson, bothered by a sore left hip flexor, got the night off. Steve Smith started in his place. ... Bowen's first technical was for jostling with Allen while on defense, and the second came 27 seconds later for throwing an elbow on offense. ... Seattle's 36 fouls were a season high for the team.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 94
    FGM-FGA 33-79 (.418) 27-63 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 7-20 (.350) 4-14 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 13-17 (.765) 36-49 (.735)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-36 14-45
    Assists 15 15
    Turnovers 13 13
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 2 9
    Fast Break Points 5 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 36 (2/0) 20 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 32
    Reb: 0
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 18
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 6