PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Two of the NBA's hottest teams heading
into the All-Star break put on a thrilling show to start the second
half of their seasons Tuesday night.
Emmanuel Ginobili hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 42 seconds left
in overtime -- his only field goal of the game -- as the San Antonio
Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 116-111 Tuesday night.
"It was a great win for us,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"The guys should really appreciate this one. We got the big shots
when we needed them.''
Coming into the game, San Antonio had won 20 of 27, while the
Blazers had won 22 of 27.
Ginobili's shot came on the Spurs' third chance during that
possession. San Antonio was able to grab two offensive rebounds to
keep the possession alive, even though Portland contended Tim
Duncan committed an over-the-back foul on one of them.
"This was a huge team victory,'' Duncan said. "Malik Rose had
a great game in place of David (Robinson) and did everything for
us, and Gino made the big 3.''
Robinson missed the game with a sore right hip.
Rasheed Wallace scored 25 points to lead the Blazers, who had a
four-game winning streak snapped. Dale Davis had a strong game with
15 points and eight rebounds. Scottie Pippen had 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.
"That was a heck of a game,'' Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks
said. "It was unfortunate that we had to lose a game like that.''
The end of regulation was filled with drama and controversy.
Duncan sank a pair of free throws with 2.0 seconds left to give
the Spurs a 102-100 lead
Duncan was fouled by Pippen while going for a rebound after a
miss from the right corner by Wallace. That Wallace even had a
chance to shoot was controversial. Pippen rebounded a miss along
the baseline with about 20 seconds left and was granted a timeout
in the air, even though he landed out of bounds.
Following a timeout after Duncan's free throws, Pippen was
fouled on the inbounds pass and hit two free throws with 1.3
seconds left to tie it up.
"It was a hard-fought game,'' Pippen said. "We didn't get to
the foul line as much as we wanted to. We didn't get any calls down
A 20-footer by Stephen Jackson rimmed out at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
Portland guard Bonzi Wells was ejected with 25.8 seconds left in
the second quarter for arguing with referee James Capers.
Wells was tossed after a loose ball foul was called on the
After Capers called the initial technical, Wells continued to
complain. Capers made it clear he had heard enough, but Wells
continued and quickly picked up his second T, and an automatic
"That's something that we have to address, getting thrown out
of a game, particularly this time of year,'' Cheeks said. "We
can't afford to lose anybody, particularly a player of Bonzi's
"I think we addressed it after the game and we probably will
address it later on. We can't have that.''
Several Blazers players and Cheeks complained throughout the
quarter and the rest of the game about the officiating. Wallace
played just 11 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.
The exchange came in the middle of a 13-3 Spurs run that gave
San Antonio a 51-44 halftime lead.
With Wallace on the bench with three fouls, Duncan and Rose
dominated, combining for 10 points and nine rebounds in the second quarter.
But Portland regrouped at the break and got back into the game
with an 11-2 run early in the third.
From there it was seesaw, intense game.
San Antonio played shorthanded, missing centers Robinson, who
returned home prior to the game, and Mengke Bateer, who was not
with the team due to personal reasons.
Robinson, who is in his final NBA season, also missed the Spurs'
last game before the All-Star break with the same ailment.
Blazers reserve Antonio Daniels played for the first time
after missing five games with a sprained right ankle. He six points
and two assists in 11 minutes. ... Tuesday was the start of a
five-game homestand for Portland, which plays seven of nine at home
to finish out the month. ... San Antonio's Steve Kerr and Steve
Smith are ex-Blazers. Portland's Daniels and Charles Smith are