Originally Posted by PHILA
New York Times - May 21, 1993
Suns 102, Spurs 100
"If you want to be great, you have to willing to take the big shot -- anywhere and anytime," Charles Barkley said after the game. "I always expect to hit the big shot."
He did last night. And it was very big. Barkley scored from the top of the key over the outstreched arm of David Robinson with 1.8 seconds left, sending the visiting Phoenix Suns past the San Antonio Spurs, 102-100, and into the Western Conference finals.
Phoenix, which took the series by four games to two, will face the winner of the Seattle-Houston semifinal series.
The Spurs tied the score, 100-100, with 11 seconds to play on two free throws by Robinson. But Barkley, isolated in a one-on-one confrontation between two of basketball's best players, cleanly hit the winner.
"I got the shot I wanted," said Barkley, who finished with 28 points and 21 rebounds. "Basically, it was a free throw."
Phoenix was not yet home free, however. With 1.8 seconds left, the Spurs inbounded and got the ball to Robinson, but Oliver Miller blocked his shot and time ran out.
For the Spurs, it was the end of a roller-coaster season in which Coach Jerry Tarkanian was fired, John Lucas was hired and San Antonio reached the conference semifinals for the first time since Robinson's rookie season.
Robinson led the Spurs with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Sean Elliott added 19 and J. R. Reid 14. Barkley was backed by Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle with 18 points each and Miller with 12.
San Antonio took an 86-76 lead to start the fourth quarter on Elliott's 3-pointer. But Phoenix immediately rallied with 12 straight points to take an 88-86 lead.
Then the fourth-quarter battle began in earnest. The teams swapped leads four times before Phoenix finally went ahead, 96-94, on two free throws by Johnson with 3 minutes 18 seconds remaining.
The Spurs led by 58-56 lead at halftime. Three consecutive field goals by Willie Anderson, including two 3-pointers, started a 16-6 Spurs run to begin the second quarter and gave San Antonio a 42-38 lead with 7:18 remaining in the half.