Spurs 90, Kings 89

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SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Being a starter again agrees with Michael Finley, and it seems to agree with the San Antonio Spurs as well.

Finley, the longtime Dallas starter replacing the injured Manu Ginobili, hit a 20-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give the Spurs a 90-89 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

In the three games since Ginobili went inactive with a sprained right foot, Finley has averaged just under 20 points per game and made eight of his 13 3-point attempts.

And San Antonio has won all three.

“With (Ginobili) being out, I didn’t want the team to take a step back,” said Finley, who made two of three behind the arc and finished with 16 points. “So I knew I had to pick up my game a little bit, kind of ride the waves a little bit until he gets back.”

Mike Bibby, who made a 3-pointer and a long jumper late in the game, had a chance to win it for the Kings, but his 3-point heave over Tim Duncan and Tony Parker went off the back of the rim.

“We made big play after big play,” said Kings coach Rick Adelman, whose team slipped to 10-14. “We just came up short on the last one. … If we keep playing like that, we’ll be fine.”

A jumper by Finley gave San Antonio an 83-74 lead with more than five minutes remaining, but two baskets by Shareef Abdur-Rahim and a 3-pointer by Bibby keyed an 11-2 run by Sacramento that tied the score at 85 with 2:23 left.

Duncan made one of two free throws and tipped in a miss by Finley to make 88-87 with 53 seconds left, but Bonzi Wells beat Finley on a drive for a layup with 8 seconds left to put the Kings back ahead.

Parker then penetrated into the paint, and when his path was blocked, he kicked it out to Finley on the right wing for the winning shot.

“I could have forced it,” Parker said. “I knew that I had to trust my teammates, and I trusted Michael and he knocked it down.”

Peja Stojakovic (13 points) said the Kings got confused on San Antonio’s last possession.

“Bonzi and I both left to help out on Tony and just got crossed up,” he said. “It was just a defensive breakdown on our part.”

Parker had 25 points and a season-high 12 assists, while Duncan scored 24 points and added 14 rebounds.

Duncan struggled in the first half, missing seven of his nine shots and committing four turnovers. He rallied in the fourth with 11 points in the fourth and clogged the middle on defense.

“It’s easy to play hard in that situation to try to redeem myself,” said Duncan, who had four blocked shots.

Abdur-Rahim matched his season high with 25 points on 12-for-16 shooting. Bibby scored 21 points, Miller had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Wells added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

After a drive by Bibby put Sacramento up 10-9, the Spurs tore off a 17-3 run. Parker started the burst with a reverse layup and finished it with another layup and three free throws.

The Kings, trailing 29-17 after one, began the second quarter by outscoring San Antonio 18-6. Stojakovic made his first two baskets during the run, and Abdur-Rahim hit three straight jumpers.

Miller put back a missed shot by Stojakovic to tie the score at 35. Sacramento took their biggest lead of the half at 44-41 on two foul shots by Stojakovic with 1:14 left in the half, but Parker tossed a 12-foot floater over a lunging Miller to cut the difference to one at the break.

The Kings went 11-for-19 (57 percent) in the second, while San Antonio shot 6-for-23 (26 percent). Parker had three of those baskets and finished the half with 17.


Bruce Bowen has played 295 consecutive games for San Antonio, one short of the team record held by Avery Johnson. … Sacramento’s bench scored only six points on 2-for-9 shooting. Jason Hart had four and Kenny Thomas two. … The Kings are 1-12 when scoring less than 100 points, while the Spurs are 19-1 when holding their opponent under 100.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
B. Miller B. Miller
6-13,  13 Pts
13 Rebs, 6 Assists
 San Antonio
T. Parker T. Parker
11-16,  25 Pts
6 Rebs, 12 Assists

Team Stat Leaders