Sun, Dec 29, 2002 - Page 24 News List

Buzzer shot saves Hawks

CLOSE SHAVE Jason Terry hit a fallaway jumper as the buzzer sounded to give Atlanta a 2-point home victory over the Spurs -- and it was planned to happen that way


A buzzer-beating shot made Terry Stotts look like a tactical genius in his NBA coaching debut.

Jason Terry, who had a turnover minutes earlier, hit a fallaway jumper at the buzzer to give the Atlanta Hawks an 81-79 home victory over San Antonio on Friday night.

"Amazing as it sounds, that's the way I drew it up," said Stotts, who replaced the fired Lon Kruger on Thursday.

After Tim Duncan tied it for the Spurs, Terry took an inbound pass with 4.3 seconds left, hoisted an off-balance, line-drive 18-footer just before the final horn, and the ball swished through.

``He drew it up. What can I say?'' Terry said.

The referees immediately ruled the shot was good, and used a video replay to officially count the basket.

``I made mistakes, but he stuck with me and showed confidence in me,'' Terry said.

Stotts, a longtime assistant who joined the Hawks this summer, openly chastised Terry for an over-the-shoulder pass that led to a turnover in the fourth quarter. With a time-out coming and a foul called on Glenn Robinson, Stotts glared at Terry and met him on the court, sternly talking into his ear.

Terry, who finished with 13 points, bounced back from the mistake minutes later with his winning shot.

``You've got to love shooters,'' Stotts said. ``I'm glad this one dropped, because this team needed a confidence-builder.''

Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who won for only the second time in eight games.

Stotts also made a change to the starting lineup, replacing Ira Newble with Mike Wilks, who signed with Atlanta on Tuesday, at point guard. Wilks had seven points and four assists.

Duncan scored 20 of his 27 in the first half for the Spurs, who shot only 44 percent against one of the NBA's worst defensive teams.

``It was an ugly game,'' Spurs guard Stephen Jackson said. ``They were ready to play. I don't know if it had anything to do with the coach or not.''

Timberwolves 113, Bulls 100

At Chicago, Kevin Garnett had 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season, and Radoslav Nesterovic scored a season-high 23 points for Minnesota.

It was the Timberwolves' seventh straight victory over the Bulls, whose four-game home winning streak was stopped.

Heat 90, Celtics 70

In Miami, Eddie Jones scored 28 and reserve Vladimir Stepania had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

They helped the Heat beat Boston for the second time in nine days.

Paul Pierce had 19 points and Antoine Walker 16 as the Celtics shot a franchise-worst 27.8 percent (22-of-79) from the field .

Nets 110, Bucks 90

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Kenyon Martin got New Jersey going with two fast-break dunks early in the third quarter and the Nets rolled to their 12th straight home victory.

Lucious Harris scored a season-high 25 points, and Martin added eight of his 21 points in the big third quarter as the Nets won for the 17th time in 18 home games.

Former Nets guard Sam Cassell had 25 points for the Bucks.

Knicks 99, Rockets 83

At Houston, Charlie Ward scored all nine of his points during a key fourth-quarter run for New York.

Latrell Sprewell had 21 points and Allan Houston 20 for the Knicks, who used a 16-2 run early in the final period to open up an 82-62 lead, New York's largest of the night.

Steve Francis had 27 points, while Yao Ming added 17 as the Rockets lost their season-high third in a row while shooting a franchise-low 29.5 percent.

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