Now in his fifth year in the NBA, San Antonio center David Robi
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Now in his fifth year in the NBA, San Antonio center David Robinson continues to put up impressive numbers.
Despite performances like scoring 42 points against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night, Spurs coach Bob Hill believes Robinson doesn’t get the respect he deserves _ particularly from referees.
With the Spurs trailing the Hornets by a point with time running out, Robinson made a move to the hoop. A basket would have given them a hard-fought victory after battling back from a 22-point deficit.
Robinson’s shot appeared to be deflected by Hornets center Alonzo Mourning. It rolled off the rim and was rebounded by the Hornets, who came away with a 111-110 victory.
After the game, Hill said it was obvious Robinson was fouled on the play.
``I don’t care what anybody says, that was a foul″ an irate Hill said. ``If that was Michael Jordan, does he get the call? Does Larry Bird or Shaq?
``David doesn’t do rap videos, he reads the Bible,″ said Hill, who criticized the refs. ``Because he’s not on TV, he can’t get a call.″
Larry Johnson scored the go-ahead basket for Charlotte with 14 seconds left, lifting the Hornets to their 12th straight home win and ninth victory in 10 games.
Hornets guard Hersey Hawkins sighed with relief when asked to describe his feelings.
``We learned a valuable lesson, and we still were able to get a win,″ he said. ``By letting the lead slip away we showed a lack of maturity, but we also showed some grit by getting out of here with the win.″
Johnson scowled when someone suggested the Hornets nearly blew the game.
``Those guys are tough players who can put it to you when you lose the momentum,″ he said. ``They know what it takes to come back.″
With the Hornets trailing 110-109 with 23 seconds left, Johnson converted the game-winning basket on a perfect feed from Muggsy Bogues.
Robinson had one last chance to win it.
``When your on the road, you’re not going to get all your calls and I’m not going to worry about it,″ he said. ``I feel there was body contact, but I will not complain.″
Johnson led six Hornets players in double figures with 24 points. Bogues scored 12 points to go with his 15 assists.
The Spurs began the final period with a 19-2 run, erasing the seemingly insurmountable Charlotte lead. San Antonio tied it on a three-point play by Robinson with 6:06 left and took a 102-101 lead a minute later on a three-point play by Sean Elliott, who finished with 23 points.
Elliott gave San Antonio a 110-108 edge on a layup with 57 seconds to play. After Johnson hit a free throw to make it 110-109, Elliott missed a jumper before Johnson hit the winning basket.
Hawkins scored 21 points, Mourning 20 and Dell Curry 17 for Charlotte, which took control in the final 3:06 of the first half when Curry hit three straight 3-pointers and Johnson followed with one of his own for a 59-52 lead.
In the second half, the Hornets picked up right where they left off, putting together a 14-2 run to pull ahead 83-64.