SAN ANTONIO — Conventional wisdom says the Spurs are history.
The Spurs say otherwise.
History is not on their side as they try to rally from a 3-1 deficit in their best-of-seven series against the Lakers, however. Only six teams in NBA history have rallied from such a deficit to win a playoff series. The Miami Heat, in 1997, was the last team to pull it off.
"Each of these games has been a great game up until the last few minutes," San Antonio center David Robinson said. "It's always one or two things in the game that turns it around and that's what we need to stop. They came down the stretch and got two offensive rebounds on the last play of the game."
Robinson referred to rebounds by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant that enabled Bryant to score the winning field goal in an 87-85 Laker victory.
"That's what we do best--play defense, make a stop and get the ball," Robinson said. "Those are the little things we've got to take care of in order to win the next game. They are going to be good, hard, close games. We just have to finish them."
The Spurs' woeful shooting in the fourth quarter troubled Coach Gregg Popovich.
"We had five or six shots that were either ill-advised or shot without confidence," Popovich said when asked about the Spurs' three-for-18 shooting (16.7%) in the final quarter. "Down the stretch, we have to take good shots and believe they're going in."
The Spurs were outscored, 20-10, in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
They have been outscored in the fourth quarters of the series, 94-62.
"I think we have guys who can make shots down the stretch," said Danny Ferry, who missed all four shots he took Sunday. "For whatever reason, it's not happening. We've played well enough to win every night. We didn't make the plays to win tonight."
The Spurs' loss Sunday could mean the Alamodome has played host to its final NBA game. The Lakers can eliminate the Spurs in Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples Center.
The Spurs are scheduled to move into a new 18,500-seat arena next season. It means the end of crowds of 35,000-plus. It also means the end of $8 seats high in the upper deck of the indoor football stadium.
It's a mixed blessing for some die-hard fans.
"I just love the Spurs so much that I would rather be on top of the ceiling than watching it at home on TV," Zinnie Andrews, a fan seated in what might be the worst seats in the NBA, told the San Antonio Express-News.