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Spurs Survive Grizzlies Scare


Tim Duncan scored four of his 24 points in overtime as the San Antonio Spurs overcame a dismal first-half shooting performance to beat the Vancouver Grizzlies 92-88 on Saturday night.

Mario Elie iced the victory by sinking three of four free throws in the final 10 seconds and finished with 16 points. Steve Kerr, who scored 12, was the only San Antonio player to shoot over 50 percent from the field, going 5-for-8. Duncan also finished with a game-high 14 rebounds.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies, who are 1-14 in their last 15 and dropped their fifth straight meeting against the Spurs.

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  • Vancouver, which played five overtime periods over the span of two days earlier this season, dropped to 1-2 in overtime games.

    The Spurs reeled off a 6-0 run to start the overtime period. Duncan got things going with a nine-foot jumper and then followed that up with a dunk. David Robinson, who managed just five points in regulation and finished with 8, matching a season low, then gave the Spurs an 84-78 edge with a 15-footer.

    The Grizzlies didn't quit, rallying back to cut the Spurs' lead to 88-85 on Pete Chilcutt's 3-point shot with 19.4 seconds remaining.

    Sean Elliott made it a four-point game when he sank one of two free throws on San Antonio's next possession.

    Vancouver's chances then dribbled away the next time up the floor when rookie Felipe Lopez bounced the ball off of his foot and out of bounds.

    Abdur-Rahim sent the game into overtime with a buzzer-beating five-footer that hit the side of the rim, bounced up and fell after the buzzer sounded, tying the game at 78-78.

    The Spurs could only blame themselves as Elliott missed two free throws with 19.2 seconds remaining and Malik Rose failed to put San Antonio up by three points when he hit only one of two free throws with 106 seconds remaining.

    With the win, San Antonio (16-9) stayed tied with Houston for second place in the Midwest Division.

    After trailing by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, the Spurs erupted for a 36-8 run over a nine-minute stretch spanning the end of the second and start of the third quarter to gain a 46-42 edge.

    The Spurs coming off Friday's 90-85 loss at Portland and playing their fourth game in five nights had an abysmal start against the Grizzlies, going 9-for-39 and falling behind 34-20 eight minutes into the second quarter.

    The Spurs shot 5-for-22 in the first quarter, including a 6:43 stretch without a point. Trailing 13-11 after the first quarter, the Spurs' output marked the fewest they've scored in the first quarter this season and the fewest Vancouver has allowed in any one quarter this season.

    Notes: Robinson and Duncan are the only teammates to rank in the top 20 in both rebounding and blocked shots. ... Despite their record, the Grizzlies are 4-3 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter and 5-8 when holding an opponent to under 100 points. ... Prior to the game, the injury-plagued Grizzlies activated center Tony Massenburg and placed veteran guard Lee Mayberry. Rodrick Rhodes (left pectoral), acquired last week in a deal that sent Sam Mack to Houston, and Doug West (sprained foot) did not play. ... Spurs' point guard Antonio Daniels, dealt away by Vancouver at last June's draft, finished with no points and two assists in 12 minutes off the bench in his first meeting against his former team. Daniels, drafted fourth overall by the Grizzlies in 1997, received mixed applause when taking the court for the first time.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed