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Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012
Stern vows to punish Spurs
MIAMI — The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four starters.
The Miami Heat almost could not.
Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left gave Miami the lead, LeBron James finished with 23 points and the Heat rallied late to beat the Spurs 105-100 on Thursday night — digging deep despite San Antonio's decision to have four top players resting at home in a move that bothered NBA commissioner David Stern.
The Spurs played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, all sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team's best interest. Stern disagreed, calling the decision "unacceptable," apologizing to fans and saying that sanctions against the Spurs will be forthcoming.
After the game, Popovich said he was unaware of Stern's statement and declined comment about what it might mean.
"Oh, it would have been great if we won," San Antonio forward Matt Bonner said after hearing about Stern's statement. "It goes back to what I was saying, I'm sure everybody else was saying before the game.
"We have faith in everybody on our roster. We think we have one of the deepest teams in the league."
The Heat weren't disagreeing afterward.
"We survived," Chris Bosh said. "And we won. They have a bunch of talented guys over there. I know that nobody's going to really give them credit, but they are a tough bunch."
Try this — the Spurs led by seven with 4:48 left, and the margin was still 98-93 when Gary Neal made a 3-pointer with 2:14 remaining.
From there, Miami closed on a 12-2 run.
But all anyone will likely remember from this one is Popovich's decision — and whatever Stern does as a result.
"I apologize to all NBA fans," Stern said. "This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming."
Allen scored 20 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and Chris Bosh finished with 18 points and 12 boards for Miami.
Neal had 20 points for the Spurs. Tiago Splitter scored 18 points, Nando De Colo added 15, Boris Diaw scored 12 and Bonner had 10 for San Antonio, which finished a six-games-in-nine-nights road trip with a 5-1 record.
Warriors 106, Nuggets 105
In Oakland, Andre Iguodala's 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded was waived off, and Golden State held on for a wild win over Denver after four replay reviews over the final 3.4 seconds.
Iguodala received a cross-court inbounds pass and connected from the left wing with a hand in his face, and Nuggets players celebrated by running off the court toward their locker room. But the Warriors stayed put and waited on yet another review by officials at the scorer's table — then began their own cheers at raucous Oracle Arena when officials ruled the shot came just an instant after time expired.
Iguodala missed the last of three free throws that would have tied the game with 3.4 seconds to go, but Denver still had two more chances to win.
Klay Thompson scored 21 points and Stephen Curry had 20 points and a season-best 10 assists as Golden State (9-6) won for the fourth time in five games and moved three games above .500 for the first time since it was 7-4 early in the 2010-11 season. The Warriors also have nine wins in their first 16 games for the first time since 2006-07.
Iguodala finished with 22 points and Danilo Gallinari added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets.