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Brand's last-second jumper bricks off

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- On a normal night, Chris Kaman might have
risked a foul on Tony Parker as the San Antonio Spurs guard drove
toward the basket in the final seconds against the Los Angeles
Clippers.

The Spurs are erratic from the free throw line most nights, but
on Wednesday, they had made 16 of 18, so Kaman pulled back.

The decision was the wrong one, as Parker banked in a layup high
off the backboard with 7.8 seconds left to give San Antonio an
80-79 win.

"I moved at the last second," said the 7-foot Kaman, who
bumped bodies with the 6-foot-3 Parker on the game-winning play.
"It was a call on my part, it wasn't really a mistake. It was just
unfortunate he got the shot off."

The Clippers took a 79-78 lead with 19 seconds remaining on a
pair of free throws by Bobby Simmons. On the next possession, the
Spurs' Manu Ginobili curled around the lane and passed to Parker in
the left corner.

Parker, who finished with 25 points, faked a 3-pointer to get
Simmons off his feet and then drove baseline.

"I wanted to shoot the 3, but they came so fast that I
pump-faked and it was wide open," he said.

On Kaman's reaction, Parker said, "I think I came too fast for
him. He had no chance."

The Clippers' final inbounds play went to Elton Brand, who
backed Tim Duncan in a couple of steps before his turnaround jumper
went off the right side of the rim. The ball bounced around before
Ginobili grabbed the rebound as time expired.

"I had a good look at it ... I just needed to make the play,"
said Brand, who had 14 points and 18 rebounds. "It was good
defense (by Duncan), but I thought I had a chance."

Ginobili, who missed Monday's win over Washington with a thigh
bruise, scored 13 points. Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds for
San Antonio, which improved the NBA's best home record to 21-1.

San Antonio's victory, combined with Phoenix's 88-79 loss to
Memphis, gives the Spurs the NBA's best record at 32-9. The Spurs
meet the Suns in Phoenix on Friday night before playing in
Sacramento on Sunday.

"We'll have to hit the boards and shoot the ball better than we
did tonight if we want to win those games," San Antonio coach
Gregg Popovich said.

The Spurs shot 39.7 percent while holding the Clippers to 35.1
percent. Los Angeles outrebounded San Antonio 62-44.

Kaman scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Los Angeles,
which lost its third straight game. Corey Maggette had 20 points
for the Clippers.

Parker scored 15 of his points in the third, including his
team's final eight points of the quarter as the Spurs built a 65-55
lead going into the fourth. That lead grew to as many as 13 before
the Clippers went on an 11-0 run led by Kaman and Maggette.

San Antonio made six of its first seven shots, three of them by
Duncan inside, but then missed seven of its next eight. Los Angeles
also started slowly.

Trailing by six late in the second quarter, the Clippers went on
a 12-5 run to end the half.

Kaman tied the score at 37 on a dunk after he rebounded his own
miss with about a minute left. Parker hit an 18-footer with nine
seconds on the clock to put San Antonio ahead by one, but Simmons
followed with a long jumper at the buzzer to make it 41-40
Clippers.

Game notes
The Spurs' record is the team's best ever at the midpoint
of a season. ... Duncan is averaging 13.7 points in his past three
games, about eight points under his season mark. ... Robert Horry
left the game in the third quarter with a dislocated right kneecap.
... Kaman is averaging 14.2 points in the past six games, better
than twice his season average. ... The Clippers play Thursday in
Dallas. The game will end their third back-to-back series in nine
days.