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Updated: Tuesday, December 24, 2002 1:18 AM EST
NBA RECAP
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San Antonio 99, New Orleans 94 (ot)
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
New Orleans Hornets
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SAN ANTONIO SPURS
San Antonio Spurs
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SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan scored 29 points and matched a career high with 23 rebounds and Bruce Bowen added a career-best 21 points as the San Antonio Spurs posted a 99-94 overtime win over the New Orleans Hornets.

Trailing 92-91 a minute into the extra period, the Spurs took the lead on a short jumper by David Robinson. After Duncan and Hornets' forward Jamal Mashburn traded baskets, Duncan fired a cross-court pass to Bowen, who sank a 3-pointer from the right baseline for a 98-94 cushion.

"I know my role," Bowen said. "I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm a defensive guy. I had some wide-open shots and they fell. Once I had the confidence, they just fell."

"It was a fantastic game for us," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added. "You had two fantastic basketball teams who went after each other. I'm just happy to be on the good end tonight. It was a heck of a game."

Malik Rose collected 19 points and seven rebounds and Robinson contributed 10 and eight for the Spurs, who equaled a season high with their fourth straight win.

David Wesley scored 20 points and Baron Davis added 18 on 5-of-18 shooting for the Hornets, who wrapped up a 3-4 road trip.

San Antonio shot 47.5 percent (38-of-80) from the field and outrebounded the Hornets, 49-43, in posting its sixth win in seven games and moving a season-high eight games over .500.

"This is a great win," Duncan said. "In the second and third quarter, we kind of let them back into it a little, but we kept our composure. We knew they were a tough team headed into this one and we were surprised that we were able to get up 10 early on them."

The Spurs led by as many as 16 points but found themselves tied at 86-86 after Davis made two free throws with 3:23 remaining. Neither team managed to score until Robinson sank a pair from the line with 46 seconds left, but Mashburn answered with a 15-footer from the right wing.

After Duncan went around Robert Traylor for an emphatic baseline dunk with 17 seconds left in regulation, Mashburn answered four seconds later with a difficult 16-foot turnaround.

Mashburn netted 16 points and P.J. Brown, who fouled out in the final minute of regulation, added 14, but the Hornets shot a woeful 37 percent (35-of-94) from the floor.

The Spurs turned a five-point advantage into a double-digit lead with a 16-5 run that spanned the first two quarters. Rose had six points in the spurt, including a basket with 9:21 left for a 39-23 advantage.

The Hornets closed within 53-45 at halftime and took a slim lead late in the third quarter. Two free throws by Mashburn with 9:29 to go in the fourth gave Charlotte its last lead at 78-77.

"I think that we did a really great job of just keeping in the game, and the character of my team is incredible," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "The character of the group, especially to hang in this ballgame with the type of road trip we had, says a lot."

"If we got into a better rhythm in the first half, we might have come out of here with a win," Mashburn added. "But I think the toughness we showed in the second half got us back in the game, and I am proud of the way that our guys played."


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