Dominant early and resilient late, the Kings were forced into
overtime by a 3-pointer from Brent Barry that hit the rim twice,
went high, caught some backboard and fell through with four seconds
left in regulation.
Then Manu Ginobili carried the defending champions in overtime
for a 128-119 victory in Game 2 of their first-round series.
"We came out and responded the way we should have," said Kings
reserve Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who had 27 points and nine rebounds.
"It's just a heartbreak that we lost."
"I think it touched every part of the rim -- maybe the
backboard, maybe the shot clock," said Barry, who scored 22
points. "I think there's still some chrome on the ball. ... We
needed breaks like that."
Game 3 is Friday night in Sacramento. With so many days off,
Kings fans might start wondering whether the Spurs could possibly
find another way to break their hearts.
San Antonio had its way with Sacramento in the opener, breaking
things open in the second quarter and winning by 34. Perhaps
thinking this one would be just as easy, especially with Kings
forward Ron Artest serving a one-game suspension, the Spurs came
out flat and were down by five at halftime.
"We didn't play with the aggressiveness we had in Game 1, but I
think it's kind of natural after winning by (34) and one of their
best players not playing," said Ginobili, who scored 32 points,
thanks in part to not being guarded by Artest. "Emotionally,
you're not the same."
After getting chewed out at halftime by coach Gregg Popovich,
San Antonio snapped out of its funk and went up by 10 in the third
But Abdur-Rahim, Bonzi Wells and Artest's replacement, Kevin
Martin, refused to let Sacramento go away.
"We know we can play with this team, we can beat this team,"
said Wells, who set the aggressive tone for Sacramento and led the
team with 28 points and 12 rebounds. "But when he hit that 3, they
just took advantage of us."
With Abdur-Rahim leading the way in the fourth quarter, the
Kings were up 106-103 with under a minute left. Then Michael Finley
hit a long jumper to get San Antonio within a point. Sacramento's
lead was back to 109-106 with 14 seconds left after a pair of free
throws by Martin, who scored a career-high 26.
Ginobili drove the lane and, needing a 3 for the tie, found
Barry wide open in the right corner. His shot hit the far inside of
the rim, came back to the front inside, flew straight up, hit the
glass and dropped right down for the tie.
"I couldn't believe it," Ginobili said. "When I saw he
actually missed, I was trying to go for the board."
Kings coach Rick Adelman was upset with his defense on the
"When you have a wide-open look, bad things happen," Adelman
said. "That's the way it goes."
Abdur-Rahim took Sacramento's final shot of regulation, a longer
jumper than he would've liked that missed wide.
Mike Bibby, who was 1-of-13 through four quarters, opened
overtime with two jumpers that left the Kings ahead 113-112. But
Ginobili already was rolling.
In a brief span, he eluded Martin for a layup off an inbounds
pass, stole the ball from Bibby and started a fast break that ended
with a layup by Parker, then drew a foul on Bibby while putting up
a 3-pointer. He made all three shots for a 117-114 lead halfway
through the extra five-minute period. Sacramento never got any closer.
Parker was far from the speedy dominator he was in the opener,
but still produced 22 points and 10 assists. Ginobili had nine
Tim Duncan, playing on his 30th birthday, had 14 points and 13
rebounds. He went about 19 minutes between baskets in the first
half and was in foul trouble the rest of the game, although he
never fouled out after getting his fifth with 9:38 left.
Barry shot 8-of-12, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers. Horry hit
three 3s during a 12-0 run that helped San Antonio hang in during
the first half.
Sacramento came out intent on taking the ball to the rim and
wound up getting 16 of its 22 first-half baskets in the paint and
leading 56-51 at the break. San Antonio was only that close because
it made eight 3-pointers.
The Spurs opened the third quarter with a 14-2 run and forced
Sacramento to miss nine of its first 10 shots. San Antonio went up
by 10 when Ginobili leaped to catch a deflected pass and threw a
behind-the-back pass -- all in one motion -- to Finley for an open
But Sacramento rallied again, tying the game at 82 going into
the fourth quarter and refusing to collapse. For instance, a
crowd-pleasing, go-ahead layup by Parker was immediately answered
by a powerful dunk from Abdur-Rahim.
While echoing Wells' contention that the Kings can beat the
Spurs, Abdur-Rahim brought up a good point about the No. 8 seed
going down 0-2 to the No. 1 seed.
"They did what they had to do," he said. "They took care of
home court. We need to go into Sacramento and defend our home
This was Horry's 200th playoff game. ... Despite new rules
that allow a 13-man roster with one inactive, Artest had to be
among the 12 active players. ... Every game, players get fouled
when not yet shooting, then throw the ball at the rim in hopes of
getting a continuation call. Van Exel appeared to get away with it
at the start of the second quarter, getting rewarded with three
free throws because he was behind the 3-point line -- by several
steps. He made all three.