Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Spurs, fans salute 'Admiral'
The Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO - David Robinson's final season is winding down, and the San Antonio Spurs took a moment to thank him for all he's done for their franchise. The Admiral wants to provide one more thrill - another NBA championship.
Tim Duncan scored 31 points and the Spurs beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-94 on Tuesday night. Robinson, who plans to retire after this season, was honored at halftime and after the game for his 13-plus years with the team.
"We have so much work left to do," he said. "We're in the middle of a battle to catch Dallas. We have a long way to go. I've been trying so hard not to think about (retiring)."
Robinson had 10 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes for the Spurs, who are 31-7 since Jan. 1 and only three games behind Dallas for the top spot in the Western Conference.
"I'd say they are my favorite right now," Bucks coach George Karl said. "They are unreal when they have it all going."
In other games, it was Washington 95, Portland 91; Cleveland 124, Golden State 103; the Los Angeles Lakers 108, Atlanta 91; and Minnesota 108, Miami 91.
Speedy Claxton had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for San Antonio. He came off the bench to replace starting point guard Tony Parker, who left with a sprained right wrist at the end of the first quarter. Duncan was 12-of-16 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. Malik Rose added 18 points.
Robinson has won two Olympic gold medals, an NBA MVP Award, a scoring title and the Rookie of the Year Award. He played a key role in San Antonio's drive to the 1999 NBA championship.
"San Antonio fans, you're the best - I love you all," Robinson said during a red-carpet ceremony after the game. "I can't remember anything this special that has happened to me on the basketball court."
Robinson was drafted out of the Naval Academy with the first pick in the 1987 draft, and joined the Spurs two years later after fulfilling his military service commitment.
He was honored Tuesday night with numerous video tributes from teammates and others. When Robinson scored his first points on a two-handed dunk in the first quarter, the capacity crowd came to its feet and cheered wildly. The Spurs also donated $100,000 to the Carver Academy, a private school for underprivileged children in San Antonio that Robinson founded and funded with $9 million of his own money.
"We really don't realize what we are losing," Rose said. "We really won't realize that until next year ... It's comical to think about what we'd have to do to repay a fraction of what you've done for us."
Lakers 108, Hawks 91
At Atlanta, Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles pulled away.
Shaquille O'Neal scored 31 points in 32 minutes and was able to rest the entire fourth quarter.
Bryant turned the sellout crowd of 19,280 in his favor, prompting fans to chant "MVP! MVP!" as he hit four consecutive 3-pointers to open a 99-80 lead with 4:59 remaining. He added a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists.
Timberwolves 108, Heat 91
At Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett and Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points apiece as Minnesota won its fourth straight and moved 20 games over .500.
Garnett added eight rebounds and eight assists, ending his franchise-best streak of 19 straight double-doubles. He leads the NBA with 60 double-doubles this season.
Miami has lost 10 of 12.
Cavaliers 124, Warriors 103
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Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Ilgauskas grabbed 10 rebounds, and Davis added 11 assists.
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