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Inside Job Lifts Seattle

April 23, 2002|From Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs sure could have used David Robinson.

The Seattle SuperSonics used strong inside play from Vin Baker and Rashard Lewis to beat San Antonio, 98-90, Monday night at San Antonio and even their best-of-five playoff series at 1-1.

Gary Payton led Seattle with 21 points, and Lewis had 19. Baker had 15 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, and Desmond Mason scored 15. Payton also grabbed 11 rebounds.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan led all scorers with 32 points and 12 rebounds. Steve Smith had 16 points, Tony Parker added 13 and Bruce Bowen 11 for San Antonio.

The Spurs went the last 5:25 without a field goal.

Robinson didn't play because of a lower-back injury that forced him to miss the last three games of the regular season. The 7-foot-1 center started Game 1 against Seattle but left in the first quarter when his back tightened up. San Antonio won easily anyway.

It was a different story Monday night.

Baker scored seven points in the third quarter, and Jerome James made two key baskets late in the period as Seattle turned a two-point deficit into a two-point lead going into the final quarter.

Bowen started the fourth with his third three-point basket of the game to put the Spurs up by one, but the SuperSonics went on a 10-2 run to go ahead, 83-76, with about eight minutes remaining.

San Antonio got its chance when James fouled out with 3:48 left, and Baker picked up his sixth a minute later with the SuperSonics up, 91-85.

Both teams spent most of the remaining time on the free-throw line, with the only basket coming on a breakaway dunk by Mason.

Robinson had not missed a playoff game since 1992. The Spurs said Robinson's status for Saturday's Game 3 will be reevaluated Wednesday.

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