Finley's Late 3 Lifts Spurs Over Kings

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Michael Finley's 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left counted despite an apparent shot-clock violation, and the San Antonio Spurs came from behind for a 95-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

Tony Parker had 25 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who moved into a tie with Houston atop the Southwest Division with two games left.

San Antonio kept Tim Duncan out of uniform to rest his sore knees, and the NBA-worst Kings led for most of the night before Finley's winner - even if television replays appeared to show the ball still in Finley's hands with the shot clock at 00.

Referee Dan Crawford's crew explained that shot-clock violations are unreviewable to irate Sacramento coach Kenny Natt, whose Kings lost their eighth straight. Sacramento finished its Arco Arena schedule with the worst home winning percentage in franchise history at 11-30 (.268).

Spencer Hawes scored a career-high 24 points for the Kings, who played without star Kevin Martin for the sixth straight game because of a sore left ankle.

Even with postseason positioning at stake, the Spurs gave Duncan the night off. Duncan has been hobbling for months, occasionally missing a game or leaving early, as he did in last Wednesday's loss to Portland.

Duncan will be back in the Spurs' lineup for Monday night's game at Golden State, but the Spurs are still adjusting to life without Manu Ginobili, who missed his fourth straight game after the discovery of his season-ending broken ankle.

Roger Mason scored 22 points and Kurt Thomas had 13 rebounds for the Spurs, who are just 9-8 since March 10, allowing Houston to move ahead of them in the division race.

The Kings finish the season with a road trip to Denver and Minnesota, while the Spurs host New Orleans on Wednesday after their trip to Oakland.

Francisco Garcia scored 12 points for the Kings, while Andres Nocioni and Bobby Jackson had 11 apiece. Beno Udrih capped his 1-for-12 performance against his former San Antonio teammates with three misses in the closing seconds.

Sacramento led for most of the night, going up by 16 points near halftime before San Antonio closed the gap to three entering the fourth quarter. Finley's rebound and layup gave the Spurs their first lead of the second half at 85-84 with 5:25 to play, but the Kings moved back in front before Mason tied it with a 3-pointer.

Nocioni put the Kings back ahead with a layup, and Parker's free throws tied it again with 1:24 left. Parker and Udrih both missed makable shots in the final seconds before Finley's sketchy 3-pointer.

Hawes, the University of Washington product whose all-around development has been one of the Kings' few positives this season, surpassed his previous career high on a baseline jumper with 3:50 to play. He grabbed eight rebounds while going 10-for-18.


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