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Horry blocks shot to preserve win

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- While Robert Horry fits the description of a
journeyman, he's known for hitting the big shot.

He hit yet another Saturday night.

Horry made a 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds remaining in the second
overtime period, then preserved the victory with a blocked shot to
give the San Antonio Spurs a 125-124 victory over the Los Angeles
Clippers.

The shot was similar to the one Horry made in Game 4 of the
Western Conference finals three years ago at Staples Center while
playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, when he hit a 3-pointer at the
buzzer to beat the Sacramento Kings.

On that occasion, a capacity crowd went wild with joy. This
time, another sellout crowd sat in stunned silence.

Just like in that situation, the ball was batted around before
Brent Barry got it to Horry, who didn't hesitate in putting up the
winning shot. Horry then blocked a dunk attempt by Mikki Moore in
the final seconds, enabling the Spurs to snap a six-game road
losing streak.

"Once I get my feet set, I'm going to shoot it," Horry said,
adding he couldn't celebrate like he did three years ago because
the game wasn't over.

And he wasn't finished, either.

"The block was crucial," Horry said. "Shaun Livingston was
driving and getting to the bucket, but on the last play he dished
it off to Mikki Moore. Luckily, I was able to get over fast enough
and block the shot."

Livingston, a rookie who scored a career high 18 points, had
given the Clippers a 124-122 lead by making a layup with 32.4
seconds to play.

Horry struck 10 seconds later.

"Robert Horry's just a big-play sort of guy," Spurs coach
Gregg Popovich said. "We've all seen it before from him on several
different teams. Now, he's doing it for us."

The 34-year-old Horry is averaging six points this season. In 12
previous seasons, he averaged 7.7 points.

By winning, the Spurs (56-20) moved within one game of the
Phoenix Suns for the top seed in the Western Conference. San
Antonio leads Dallas by four games in the Southwest Division with
six remaining.

Manu Ginobili had 40 points, six rebounds and nine assists, and
Tony Parker had 27 points and nine assists for the Spurs. Horry had
15 points and eight rebounds and Tony Massenburg added 14 points
and nine rebounds.

"We needed a game on the road," Ginobili said. "It was very
important for us for our heads."

The Spurs hadn't won a road game since Feb. 28. They've beaten
the Clippers seven straight times, including four this season, and
have won 27 of the last 30 games between the teams.

Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 24 points before fouling
out with 4:16 left in the first overtime. Chris Wilcox had 21
points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 1:21 remaining in
the second overtime. Chris Kaman had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and
Elton Brand had 20 points before fouling out with 3:39 to play in
the fourth quarter.

"It was a great game," Maggette said. "We did a lot of good
things. When I saw (Horry) catch the ball, I was just praying that
he'd miss. That's what they pay him the big bucks for. Great
players make big shots."

Ginobili made three free throws with 30.5 seconds left in the
first overtime to give the Spurs a 116-114 lead, but Livingston
made a basket 5 seconds later to tie it. Ginobili missed an
off-balance shot just before the final buzzer, forcing a second
overtime.

Ginobili scored eight of his team's 11 points in the first
overtime, while Livingston had six for the Clippers.

The Clippers took a 103-102 lead with 20 seconds left in the
fourth quarter on two free throws by Maggette. Ginobili made a
three-point play to put the Spurs on top by two, but a layup by
Kaman with 7 seconds to go tied the game at 105. Parker missed a
jumper in the final seconds.

The Spurs played without star Tim Duncan (sprained right ankle)
for the 10th straight game, while Bobby Simmons, the Clippers'
third-leading scorer, missed his sixth game because of an injured
left leg.

Game notes
San Antonio C Rasho Nesterovic was helped off the court
late in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn't
return. He had eight points and two rebounds. There was no
immediate word as to the severity of the injury. ... The Clippers
have a 25-14 home record with two home games remaining. Previously,
their best home record in five years at Staples Center was 25-16 in
the 2001-2002 season. ... Duncan, walking without a limp, said he's
getting better and hopes to return before the regular season ends
April 20. "If we could get him for a couple of games before the
playoffs, that would be great," Popovich said. ... The Clippers,
who have five games remaining, trail the Lakers by a half-game.
They are trying to finish ahead of the Lakers for just the third
time in the 21 seasons both teams have played in Los Angeles.

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