May 19: Spurs 91, Hornets 82

The AP reports: Manu Ginobili scored 26 points, hitting four free throws in the final minute, to send the Spurs to the Western Conference finals with a 91-82 victory Monday night. Tony Parker added 17 points, including a crucial jumper in the final minute, as the Spurs held off a late rally to become the first team in this series to win on the road… David West led the Hornets with 20 points, while Chris Paul and Jannero Pargo each added 18. Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Hornets, who cut a deficit as large as 17 down to three inside the final two minutes. While the Hornets managed to hold Duncan under 20 points by crowding the inside, his Spurs teammates combined for 12 3-pointers to keep alive their chance to win back-to-back titles for the first time… Buoyed by a home crowd that stood throughout the fourth quarter, the Hornets fought back to make a game of it, largely behind Jannero Pargo, who had done little in this series. He scored seven straight on four free throws sandwiched around a 3-pointer, pulling the Hornets to 81-77 with 3:10 to go. Stat Notes: The Hornets and Spurs both shot close to 40.0%, but the Spurs nailed 12-of-28 three-pointers, the Hornets just 4-of-17. The Spurs also had a few more free throw attempts, and shot better from the line. The Spurs also rebounded a bit better. New Orleans committed fewer turnovers.

For the Spurs, Manu Ginobili (just 6-of-19, 4-of-11 threes, but 10-of-11 free throws) had 26 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Tony Parker (just 7-of-17) had 17 points and 5 assists. Tim Duncan (just 5-of-17) had 16 points, 14 rebounds, more turnovers than assists, and no blocks. Francisco Oberto grabbed 9 boards. Off the bench, Ime Udoka scored 8, Robert Horry 6, Mike Finley 6.

For the Hornets, David West (just 8-of-19) had 20 points and 9 rebounds. Chris Paul (8-of-18 with no threes and just a few free throws) had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists and 5 steals. Jannero Pargo (6-of-16) had 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Tyson Chandler (6-of-8) had 13 points and 15 rebounds.  Morris Peterson (just 2-of-7) had 5 points and little else. Peja Stojakovic (3-of-11, 1-of-5 threes) had 7 points and little else. And the Hornets only got 19 bench points, and Pargo was 18 of those.

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