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Mason helps Spurs get it right at the end

He makes a jumper in closing seconds as San Antonio beats Golden State, 107-106. The Spurs had lost their previous two games in the final minutes.

March 25, 2009|Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs didn't let a third straight game slip away in the final moments. But it was close.

Gnawed by last-second losses in their previous two outings, the Spurs got redemption when Roger Mason made an 18-foot shot with 23.9 seconds left and watched Monta Ellis clank a running three-point shot at the buzzer to escape with a 107-106 win over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night.

Tony Parker scored 30 points and Tim Duncan scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs blew a late six-point lead but survived at the end.

It was thanks to Mason, who scored the last of his 24 points when he took a handoff from Duncan, rolled to the top of key and swished the game-winner. "Definitely a relief," Mason said. "Those last few games stung."

Those included an 80-77 loss to Boston on Friday -- when the Spurs missed their last six free throws in the final 2:32 -- and an 87-85 defeat Sunday against the Houston Rockets.

This one could've been another stinger.

Ellis, who had 27 points, had a chance to put the Warriors ahead with 5.9 seconds left, but missed a jumper. After the Spurs' Kurt Thomas missed two free throws, Ellis could not connect as time expired.

Five of San Antonio's last six games have been decided by three points or fewer. They won only two, and have fallen to 11-6 in games decided by three or fewer points after once being 9-2 in that category.

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