Spurs come to their own defense

SAN ANTONIO -- It was fitting that the crucial play in this series was a defensive stop. With 1:02 remaining and the Spurs clinging to a 73-68 lead, Larry Brown came out of a timeout with one of his favorite plays -- Chauncey Billups coming off a screen to shoot a 3-pointer from the left side.

Only this time, Bruce Bowen raced through the screen, caught up to Billups, and got a hand up in time to block the shot. It was vintage Bowen -- chasing a smaller player through a screen, anticipating the next move, and reaching out with his left hand rather than across his body with the right to block a right-hander's shot.

"I was just trying to make sure I stayed up with him," Bowen said. "With my length, sometimes it creates problems for guys. Once he went up in the air and I saw he was committed, it was a chance for me to react."