Jazz left fuming after last-second loss

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Tim Duncan knew he had plenty of time.

The San Antonio Spurs forward took an inbounds pass with 6.5 seconds left, calmly backed Utah's Karl Malone down the baseline and hit a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to give the Spurs their 11th straight win over the Jazz, 91-90 on Friday night.

``I just decided to kind of go baseline and see what would happen. Lucky enough, it went down for me,'' said Duncan, who had 29 points and 17 rebounds. ``It was kind of a broken play. I looked up, there were 5 seconds so I could kind of take my time and I got my shot off.''

Referee Bernie Fryer, who called a technical on Utah's Matt Harpring as the Spurs rallied in the final minutes, had to confirm it and after looks at several different replays said it was good as the sellout Delta Center crowd of 19,991 booed.

Fryer and fellow referees Tony Brothers and Gary Zielinski were immediately met by Utah coach Jerry Sloan, who pointed and shouted a few obscenities as the officials left the court.

``That was a pretty tough thing to swallow,'' Sloan said after the game. ``I've been in this game a long time and I don't know if I've seen one like that before. But that's part of it.''

The Jazz had an opportunity to go up by two with 6.5 seconds left, but Scott Padgett, one Utah's top shooters, missed the first of two free throws and the Spurs had a chance to win it with just a field goal.

``Personally, it's disappointing for me,'' Padgett said. ``If I make the free throw, we go into overtime in a worst-case scenario.''

Bruce Bowen scored 13 for the Spurs and Stephen Jackson added 11, including a jumper that tied it at 89 with 28.7 seconds left.

Malone had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Greg Ostertag scored
12 and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who could have tied
the Spurs for second in the Midwest Division with a win Friday.

``It's certainly a lot of fun to be the fortunate team and make the last shot when there's no time left,'' San Antonio coach Greg Popovich said. ``I was very pleased with our effort all night.''

John Stockton finished with 10 points and 10 assists, and
Calbert Cheaney had 16 points as all five Jazz players scored in
double figures.

Utah even got a break when San Antonio center David Robinson went on the injured list earlier Friday and didn't make the trip because of back spasms.

Ostertag had one of his better games, but fouled out as the Spurs made a late run late to erase a 10-point deficit.

Harpring, who finished with 14 points, was called for a technical with 3:47 left to go. He contended the ball went out of bounds off a Spurs player. When Brothers wouldn't listen to his pleas, Harpring turned and yelled something to Fryer, who quickly whistled the technical.

Tony Parker, who had 13 points, made the free throw, then Duncan hit two from the line after Ostertag's sixth foul to draw the Spurs to 84-82 with 3:34 left. Ostertag got a standing ovation as he made a frustrated walk to the bench and it seemed to revive the Jazz, who responded with a jumper by Stockton and a layup by Harpring to get the lead back to six.

But the Spurs stayed in it and Bowen cut it to 89-87 on a 3 with
1:07 left, then after Utah's Tony Massenburg was called for basket
interference, Jackson tied it at 89 with less than 30 seconds to

After Padgett's miss, the Spurs had a chance to win it on the last possession and Duncan came through one-on-one against Malone.

``If we double him, someone else will be open to shoot,'' Stockton said. ``Karl was playing great defense and Tim hit a tough shot.''

Brothers, who was making his first appearance at the Delta
Center first time since being hit on the forearm with a bottle of
water following a disputed call at the end of the Jazz's loss to Sacramento on Nov. 30, was apparently was the target of Sloan's tirade. Among other things, the irate coach yelled ``This is the second game you cost me. You owe me two games!''

``Way too many games are being decided by the officials, and I'm
not just talking about ours,'' Ostertag said. ``San Antonio's a
good team, but at the same time the league's got to start looking
at some of this stuff.''

Game notes
San Antonio is two wins away from sweeping the Jazz for the third straight season. San Antonio had never swept a season series against the Jazz before taking the last two. ... Late in the first quarter, Utah's Andrei Kirilenko blocked a shot by Steve Smith, caught the ball before it hit the court then passed to Mark Jackson, who hit a streaking Kirilenko at the other end for a two-handed dunk to cap a 6-0 run that put the Jazz up 24-19 with 44.8 seconds left in the quarter. ... Kevin Willis got the start for Robinson and finished with four points and six rebounds.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Youth San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan #21 Road Black Replica JerseyShop

  • adidas Men's Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward #20 Navy T-ShirtPrice: $32.00 Shop