Friday , May , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Spurs spurned by league

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Just a day after one of the greatest finishes
to an NBA playoff game, the league denied the San Antonio Spurs’ protest of
Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher got a shot off after an inbounds pass
with just four-tenths of a second left, giving the Lakers the win and a 3-2
lead in the best-of-seven set.

The Spurs believed the clock did not start quickly enough after Fisher caught
the ball. Fisher buried an 18-foot jumper to give the Lakers a 74-73 victory
and a chance to advance to the conference finals with a win on Saturday in Los

The basket by Fisher came after an amazing fadeaway by San Antonio’s Tim
Duncan that gave the Spurs the lead in the final seconds.

The Spurs had their 17-game home winning streak halted.

NBA commissioner David Stern said a video tape review showed the game clock
“started appropriately” and confirmed the determination of the referees, who
used instant replay to make sure the shot was released before time expired.

The on-court officials trigger the start of the clock with a wireless device
on their belt. A neutral scorekeeper does also, as a backup.