SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Being a starter again agrees with Michael
Finley, and it seems to agree with the San Antonio Spurs as well.
Finley, the longtime Dallas starter replacing the injured Manu
Ginobili, hit a 20-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give the
Spurs a 90-89 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
In the three games since Ginobili went inactive with a sprained
right foot, Finley has averaged just under 20 points per game and
made eight of his 13 3-point attempts.
And San Antonio has won all three.
"With (Ginobili) being out, I didn't want the team to take a
step back," said Finley, who made two of three behind the arc and
finished with 16 points. "So I knew I had to pick up my game a
little bit, kind of ride the waves a little bit until he gets
Mike Bibby, who made a 3-pointer and a long jumper late in the
game, had a chance to win it for the Kings, but his 3-point heave
over Tim Duncan and Tony Parker went off the back of the rim.
"We made big play after big play," said Kings coach Rick
Adelman, whose team slipped to 10-14. "We just came up short on
the last one. ... If we keep playing like that, we'll be fine."
A jumper by Finley gave San Antonio an 83-74 lead with more than
five minutes remaining, but two baskets by Shareef Abdur-Rahim and
a 3-pointer by Bibby keyed an 11-2 run by Sacramento that tied the
score at 85 with 2:23 left.
Duncan made one of two free throws and tipped in a miss by
Finley to make 88-87 with 53 seconds left, but Bonzi Wells beat
Finley on a drive for a layup with 8 seconds left to put the Kings
Parker then penetrated into the paint, and when his path was
blocked, he kicked it out to Finley on the right wing for the
"I could have forced it," Parker said. "I knew that I had to
trust my teammates, and I trusted Michael and he knocked it down."
Peja Stojakovic (13 points) said the Kings got confused on San
Antonio's last possession.
"Bonzi and I both left to help out on Tony and just got crossed
up," he said. "It was just a defensive breakdown on our part."
Parker had 25 points and a season-high 12 assists, while Duncan
scored 24 points and added 14 rebounds.
Duncan struggled in the first half, missing seven of his nine
shots and committing four turnovers. He rallied in the fourth with
11 points and clogged the middle on defense.
"It's easy to play hard in that situation to try to redeem
myself," said Duncan, who had four blocked shots.
Abdur-Rahim matched his season high with 25 points on 12-for-16
shooting. Bibby scored 21 points, Miller had 13 points and 13
rebounds, and Wells added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
After a drive by Bibby put Sacramento up 10-9, the Spurs tore
off a 17-3 run. Parker started the burst with a reverse layup and
finished it with another layup and three free throws.
The Kings, trailing 29-17 after one, began the second quarter by
outscoring San Antonio 18-6. Stojakovic made his first two baskets
during the run, and Abdur-Rahim hit three straight jumpers.
Miller put back a missed shot by Stojakovic to tie the score at
35. Sacramento took its biggest lead of the half at 44-41 on two
foul shots by Stojakovic with 1:14 left, but Parker tossed a
12-foot floater over a lunging Miller to cut the difference to one
at the break.
The Kings went 11-for-19 (57 percent) in the second, while San
Antonio shot 6-for-23 (26 percent). Parker had three of those
baskets and finished the half with 17.
Bruce Bowen has played 295 consecutive games for San
Antonio, one short of the team record held by Avery Johnson. ...
Sacramento's bench scored only six points on 2-for-9 shooting.
Jason Hart had four and Kenny Thomas two. ... The Kings are 1-12
when scoring less than 100 points, while the Spurs are 19-1 when
holding their opponent under 100.