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NBA

San Antonio gallops away in fourth quarter

By Wire services
Published April 20, 2004

SAN ANTONIO - Robert Horry didn't wait until the final buzzer to make his trademark shot. Instead, his dagger of a 3-pointer - two of them, actually - came earlier than usual.

After the Grizzlies slashed San Antonio's lead to one point late in the third quarter, Horry made two 3s and a putback to swing the game's momentum back to the Spurs in an 87-70 victory Monday night for a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

Horry had 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting and 10 rebounds, prompting teammate Tim Duncan to accuse him of sandbagging during the regular season - just the sort of thing the Lakers used to tease him about when Horry was cementing his late-game reputation while playing in Los Angeles.

"He just kind of hung out and did what he could," said Duncan, who had 23 points and 12 rebounds. "Now it's playoff time and he wants to play."

Horry, who collected five championship rings during his time in Houston and Los Angeles, said the first 3-pointer picked him up. He made only 41 during the regular season, two in April.

"I thought, "I hadn't made a 3-pointer in so long,"' he said. "I just took what was given to me."

San Antonio's defense clinched the game by holding the Grizzlies without a field goal for nearly 11 minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters. The Spurs, up by nine after three, went on a 14-0 run early in the final period to build their largest lead at 82-60.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 27 points, 17 in the first half. He was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

San Antonio's Jason Hart left with a mild concession early in the fourth quarter after a collision with Earl Watson.

Also, the league fined James Posey of Memphis $3,000 for a flagrant foul against Manu Ginobili in Game 1. Posey was called for the foul with 6:08 left in Saturday's game.

Artest suspended

INDIANAPOLIS - It was an up-and-down day for Indiana's Ron Artest.

The league suspended the Pacers forward one game for leaving the bench during a confrontation in a playoff win over the Celtics on Saturday. He will miss tonight's Game 2 of the first-round series.

Earlier, Artest was named the league's defensive player of the year, ending Ben Wallace's bid for a third straight award.

Artest, who anchored the league's third-best defense, received 80 first-place votes and 476 points from a media panel.

On Saturday, with 8:01 left in the second quarter, Artest briefly left the bench when he saw teammate Jermaine O'Neal thrown to the floor by Boston's Brandon Hunter. Artest started onto the court when he saw O'Neal lose his composure, but headed back to the bench after about four steps.

"It's a rule. The NBA has rules you have to abide by," Artest said. "It's a learning experience, and I'll just have to get back at it (in Game 3) on Friday."

KNICKS: Tim Thomas, who bruised his lower back and left ankle when he landed hard after being flagrantly fouled in Game 1, is doubtful for tonight's Game 2.

WILLIAMS TRIAL: The jury in retired All-Star Jayson Williams' manslaughter trial returned to the courtroom for the first time in almost three weeks after a delay caused by the prosecution's failure to turn over information from an expert witness. The 16-person jury, from which 12 will decide the case, was reduced to 15 because one juror's mother died.

[Last modified April 20, 2004, 01:20:37]


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