for this game

Parker's rainbow jumper helps Spurs hold off 76ers

Jan 4, 2009 - 6:33 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tony Parker nailed a wild game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the San Antonio Spurs a 108-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Parker grabbed an offensive rebound, turned around and launched a high-arching fadeaway 15-footer as time expired.

Philadelphia acknowledged it was a tough way to lose.

"This is a heartbreaking loss after a great comeback from us," 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said. "They played hard, we came back and never gave up. (At the end), we lost the ball, and Tony Parker made his circus shot to win it."

And even the Spurs admitted they had a little luck on their side with the final shot.

"Obviously, we got a little lucky with the shot Tony hit," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. "We put ourselves in a bad situation and, sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good."

"I just tried to put it up there because I knew there were not a lot of seconds left on the clock. It was just a good shot, and I was happy it went in," Parker said.

After the Spurs' blistering start, it was hard to imagine the game coming down to a buzzer-beater, but Andre Miller led the 76ers back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit.

With the game tied, 106-106, Miller tried to post up Roger Mason, then flung a pass to the top of the key that Parker grabbed. The Spurs opted not to call a timeout with less than 15 seconds left.

"I didn't know if (coach Gregg Popovich) wanted the timeout, so I just looked at him, and he told me 'Go, go!' I just made sure we got a pick and roll, and I got a shot for Manu (Ginobili)," Parker said.

Parker did just that, driving, then swinging the pass in the corner to Ginobili, who missed the 3-pointer. But Parker found the loose ball with the time winding down, turned and heaved up the shot that found the bottom of the net.

"I had to give my shot a lot of air because the defender was close, and it came up short. He was there and just hit an unbelievable fadeaway," Ginobili said. "I was right on his line behind him. It looked really good when he let it fly."

Early on, it appeared it would be an easy win for San Antonio, which grabbed a 40-19 lead after shooting 75 percent in the first quarter. They made 8-of-9 from the 3-point line in the period, tying a franchise record for most threes in any quarter.

Duncan said fast starts are sometimes tricky.

"Sometimes you try not to lose the game instead of winning it," Duncan said.

San Antonio put five players in double figures. Parker ended with 15 points and 10 assists, while Duncan had 26 and 12 rebounds and Ginobili finished with 21 points.

Though relatively quiet in the second half, Duncan paced the Spurs early with 19 first-half points, helping them take a 66-50 lead into halftime.

But then Miller took over after halftime, scoring 16 of his 28 points in the third. Miller was the much-needed spark, helping the 76ers come alive in the third quarter.

They outscored the Spurs, 31-18, with all 31 coming from the starters. Philadelphia briefly took the lead after erasing a 16-point deficit.

Thaddeus Young's alley-oop, one-handed dunk cut San Antonio's lead to 78-72 late in the third. Miller then followed with two straight layups and a 20-footer, tying the game at 78-78.

Miller was then fouled and made one of his two free throws to give Philadelphia its first lead of the game, 79-78, with under a minute left in the third.

"It's tough to come back, especially in this building," Miller said. "Normally, it takes maybe two to three quarters to get back in the game like that, but we had some energy for a second, but we just couldn't finish it off."

Michael Finley answered on the next Spurs possession with a 3-pointer, but Miller found his way to the rim again, knotting the game at 81-81.

With 2.9 seconds left in the quarter, Roger Mason received the ball off an inbounds pass and nailed a straight-away 3-pointer at the buzzer for an 84-81 lead for the Spurs heading into the fourth.

"It was tough at the end. They made shots, and we made shots," Parker said. "And we made the last one."

Andre Iguodala added 25 points and Young scored 19 for the Sixers, who have lost six of seven.

"To win in this league is always special," Mason said. "Sometimes it's ugly, but we'll take it. We knew they'd make their run, but we made more plays at the end."