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Spurs' Win Over Suns Has a Nice Ring to It

October 29, 2003|From Associated Press

San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich insisted that after the championship rings were handed out, his players would wipe last season from their memories and think only of the games ahead.

Well, the jewelry was distributed before Tuesday night's opener against the Phoenix Suns, and the Spurs seemed to forget too much too soon.

But with time almost gone, they remembered how to win.

Anthony Carter's offensive rebound and putback with 28 seconds left lifted the Spurs to an 83-82 victory at San Antonio.

Carter, starting for the injured Tony Parker, helped seal the win with his defense on Stephon Marbury on the final possession.

"It was looking real ugly at the beginning but we knew we had a 48-minute game," said Carter, who finished with 10 points and six assists in his first game as a Spur. "Everybody just stayed focused and did their job."

Marbury, who finished with 24 points, tried to isolate Carter, but could manage only an awkward 18-foot jumper with about nine seconds remaining.

Marbury got the rebound and missed another jumper that was rebounded by Penny Hardaway, who missed a 14-footer. The ball was being batted around when time expired.


Philadelphia 89, Miami 74 -- Allen Iverson had 26 points and 11 assists, and Kenny Thomas scored 15 points at Philadelphia to help Coach Randy Ayers win in his debut.

Ayers was Larry Brown's top assistant for six seasons. Brown left Philadelphia for Detroit.

Miami's Dwyane Wade scored 18 points in his first NBA game. Eddie Jones scored 15 points and Brian Grant had 13 for the Heat, which played all but the first eight minutes without forward Lamar Odom, who sprained his right ankle. X-rays were negative.

Odom was the centerpiece of Miami's off-season overhaul, signing a $65-million, six-year contract. Odom said he might be out for two games.

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