Wed, Nov 12, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Spurs honor Robinson by retiring his number

AP , SAN ANTONIO, TEXASAND CLEVELAND, OHIO

A banner marking the career of Spurs center David Robinson is unveiled during a ceremony to retire his jersey in San Antonio, Monday.

PHOTO: AP

David Robinson took the spotlight one last time for the San Antonio Spurs.

After the Spurs' 87-78 victory over Utah on Monday night, Robinson's No. 50 jersey was hung from the rafters of the SBC Center.

"This is a moment you always dream of, but never think will come," he said. "It's overwhelming. It's awesome."

The 38-year-old Robinson was credited early in his career with keeping the franchise in San Antonio. He helped the Spurs win their second NBA title last season in his final game.

"This is my final farewell," he said. "This has been a wonderful journey."

When the black shroud was lifted from the white jersey, the fans cheered and began to chant Robinson's name.

The Spurs have retired only three other numbers in their 30 years of existence -- James Silas' No. 13, George Gervin's No. 44 and Johnny Moore's No. 00.

In his 14-year pro career, all with the Spurs, Robinson averaged 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. He holds team records for games (987), points (20,790), rebounds (10,497), blocked shots (2,954) and steals (1,388).

He was the NBA's MVP in 1995 and voted among the league's top 50 all-time players.

Reverend Max Lucado, pastor at Robinson's church, said Robinson is inspiring in his ministry, and he brings a little extra something to the congregation.

"He's going to help out our basketball team quite a bit," he said.

Cavaliers 94, Knicks 80

LeBron James scored 17 points -- all on jumpers -- and Chris Mihm had 19, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 94-80 win over the listless New York Knicks.

The one rap on James was that he couldn't shoot from the outside, but the rookie star showed nice range in draining seven perimeter shots Monday, including all three of his 3-point attempts.

"Every day in practice I go into the gym and I hear those voices that say I can't shoot," said James, who came in just 2-for-12 on 3-pointers. "I just keep working at it. I know they're going to fall for me, and tonight they did.''

James made his first four jumpers as the Cavaliers bolted to a 13-0 lead and built a 22-point lead in the first half.

Ricky Davis added 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in just three quarters for the Cavaliers, who have won two straight following an 0-5 start.

Carlos Boozer had 15 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 13 for Cleveland, which only won two straight once all last season when it went an NBA-worst 17-65.

Grizzlies 105, Lakers 95

In Memphis, Tennessee, Shane Battier's four-point play with 1:58 left ended the Lakers' last comeback attempt, helping the Grizzlies beat turnover-prone Los Angeles.

The Lakers were uncommonly sloppy, committing turnovers on eight consecutive possessions early in the third quarter to let the game get away from them.

Kobe Bryant scored nine straight fourth-quarter points as the Lakers pulled to 97-89, but Battier -- who had just checked in after James Posey fouled out -- hit a 3-pointer from the corner and was fouled by Bryant.

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