SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Even after going 1-for-11 from the line,
Tim Duncan resisted the urge to try a new approach to his shot.
Duncan made two free throws with 12 seconds left to send the
game to overtime and the San Antonio Spurs dominated from there,
defeating the Clippers 95-87 Tuesday night.
"I don't ever do anything different. I just put them up there
and hope they go in," said Duncan who had 27 points, 22 rebounds
and five assists. "Sometimes it goes good, and sometimes it goes
bad, but I just want to give myself a chance."
The Spurs climbed back from deficits as large as eight against
the Pacific Division's leader and outscored the Clippers 11-3 in
Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said his team lost because of 33
percent shooting from the field and errant shots down the stretch
created by the Spurs' defense.
"They are a great defensive team and they did a great job and
we just didn't knock down the shots we got," he said.
Michael Finley, filling in for an injured Manu Ginobili, had 21
points and 10 rebounds, both season highs. Finley had seven points
in overtime, including two free throws with 28.7 left to seal the
win. Tony Parker had 25 points and seven assists.
"You have to give the teams we face credit," Finley said.
"We're the defending champions, and we have an 'X' on our backs
every arena we go into. They come out and bring their best game. We
may come out and take it easy, but the teams we play won't."
The Spurs were trying to bounce back from Saturday night's loss
to the league's worst team, the Atlanta Hawks, and overcome nagging
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he anticipated a close game with
"Most people have no clue how good a team [the Clippers] are,"
Popovich said. "They started to get better last year. With the
addition of Cuttino Mobley and Sam Cassell, that's a lot of talent
Duncan scored the first four points of the game, showing no
signs of a nagging sore foot. Parker had 11 in the quarter as the
Spurs held a lead as high as six points.
The Spurs turned up the defense after trailing at the half and
went on a 16-9 run to take the lead at 6:15 in the third. Finley
sparked the run with 10 points, including the go-ahead score to
clean up a miss by Parker.
The teams exchanged the lead in the fourth, but Chris Wilcox led
the Clippers offense, hitting a runner in the lane as Duncan was
called for the foul midway into the quarter. By the 6:35 mark, the
Clippers led 78-72.
Duncan's banker over Chris Kaman tied the game again at 82 with
The Clippers' Quinton Ross hit a 17-footer for a 84-82 lead with
17.5 seconds left.
Brand fouled Duncan with 12.6 seconds left. He hit both free
throws and after Kaman missed a shot in the lane, Nesterovic
grabbed the rebound with 1.8 seconds left.
Robert Horry inbounded to Duncan who overshot the rim as time
expired. The Spurs then hit all their free throws in overtime as
the Clippers went 0-for-9 from the field.
"We just had a tough stretch there where we couldn't make
anything," Brand said. "Taking them to OT, that's one thing, but
we had an opportunity for a victory here."
Ginobili (foot sprain) did not play. Sean Marks for the
Spurs was inactive. ...The Spurs set a franchise low for turnovers
with four, eclipsing its mark of five set on March 18, 2004 against
Minnesota. ...The Clippers placed Shawn Livingston, Corey Maggette
and Zeljko Rebraca on the inactive list. ...The Clippers this year
are 1-2 in overtime while the Spurs are 2-0.