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Spurs get rings, rally on Nuggets

By Associated Press
Published November 2, 2005

SAN ANTONIO - The Spurs celebrated last season's success and started their title defense.

Tony Parker scored 14 of his 26 in the fourth quarter and newcomer Michael Finley added 11 points in the quarter for the Spurs, who defeated Denver 102-91 in the opener for both Tuesday night.

Before the game, San Antonio unveiled its third championship banner in the rafters of the SBC Center, and NBA commissioner David Stern was on hand for the team's returning players to receive their diamond-studded title rings.

San Antonio trailed most of the second half until Finley hit a 19-footer to put the Spurs up 79-78 with about nine minutes left in the game.

Finley, who finished with 16 points, then hit another jumper followed by a 3-pointer.

The Spurs went 13-for-16 from the field in the fourth quarter.

HORNETS 93, KINGS 67: J.R. Smith scored 19 and had two electrifying dunks as New Orleans won the first of 35 home games in Oklahoma City. The celebration began with a street party outside the Ford Center, then got more lively inside the sold-out arena as the Hornets, 18-64 last season, beat a Sacramento team expected to contend.

BUCKS 117, 76ERS 108 (OT): Michael Redd hit the tying 3-pointer in regulation and scored 30 to lead visiting Milwaukee. Redd's 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left tied it at 102, brought the Bucks back from seven down with three minutes left.

HEART AILMENT KILLED PLAYER: Hawks center Jason Collier died from a sudden heart rhythm disturbance caused by an abnormally enlarged heart, an autopsy showed. Georgia's chief medical examiner, Dr. Kris Sperry, said tests showed that electrocardiograms administered to Collier in 2003 and this year showed "some indication of electrical abnormalities."

EX-STAR SELLS ESTATE: Former NBA star Jayson Williams got $8-million for the sale of his New Jersey estate, where he shot a hired driver to death more than three years ago.

MAVS: Center Pavel Podkolzin had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot and will be out at least through January.

NUGGETS: Forward Nene Hilario left in the first quarter with what the team called a sprained right ACL.

[Last modified November 2, 2005, 01:03:03]


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