SEATTLE (AP) -- Led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson, the San Antonio Spurs are rounding into playoff form.
Duncan scored 30 points, Robinson added 23, and Sean Elliott hit
a pivotal 3-pointer as the NBA's defending champions used a 17-3
fourth-quarter run to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 90-82 Monday
night for their third straight victory.
The Spurs dominated inside. Duncan grabbed 18 rebounds and
Robinson had 16 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"Last year we won these type of games," Robinson said.
"Tonight was a good sign."
Elliott, playing his seventh game since being activated after a
kidney transplant, scored 10 points, including a 3-pointer for an
80-76 lead with 5:30 left.
"Tonight was kind of like the old us," said Elliott, whose 26
minutes were the most he's played in his comeback. "I feel good. I
wasn't too tired out there."
The Spurs, who allow opponents an average of 89.9 points per game
to lead the league in scoring defense, held the Sonics to 6-for-20
shooting in the fourth quarter.
"I was thrilled with our defense because that's what we
predicate our game on," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Sonics led 75-71 when the Spurs held Seattle to three
baskets over the final eight minutes.
The Sonics lost their fourth straight home game and slipped into
eighth in the Western Conference playoff race.
Antonio Daniels provided a big lift for the Spurs in the fourth
quarter with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting.
Gary Payton and Vin Baker led the Sonics with 21 points apiece.
Baker injured his left ankle when he fell with 2:30 left in the game. He did not return.
Seattle lost a fourth-quarter lead for the third time in four
"They have two big horses inside with David and Tim who plugged
up the middle," Baker said. "Maybe guys are pressing too much,
because we are struggling offensively in the fourth quarter."
After Baker's basket with 8:03 left, the Sonics went almost four
minutes without a basket until Vernon Maxwell's runner with 4:05
left. They got two layups the rest of the game.
"We just couldn't hold it together," Sonics coach Paul
Westphal said. "We couldn't make shots and their big guys
The Spurs went on an 11-1 run for an 82-76 advantage. Duncan and
Daniels had four points each.
Seattle led 69-68 when Baker scored on an offensive rebound and Samaki Walker was assessed a technical foul for shoving Jelani McCoy. Payton's free throw gave Seattle a 72-68 lead with 8:45
Payton scored nine points in the third quarter as the Sonics
were up 66-61 after three quarters.
The Sonics opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run on Greg
Foster's basket, a 3-point shot by Brent Barry and Baker's putback
for a 51-42 advantage with 10:24 left in the quarter.
Payton's runner with 3.1 seconds in the half gave the Sonics a
44-42 halftime lead.
|David Robinson blocks Vin Baker's shot, one of his four blocks. Baker later left the game with an ankle injury.|
Horace Grant did not dress for the Sonics because he hurt
his left shoulder helping break up a fight between Payton and Maxwell at practice Sunday. ... Seattle's Ruben Patterson
started and played the first six minutes but saw limited action
thereafter because of his sore Achilles' tendon. ... The Spurs
outrebounded Seattle 49-40.
San Antonio Clubhouse
Sonics say Payton-Maxwell scuffle is behind them
San Antonio 90
Sean Elliott discusses the importance of his play today.
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