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Tuesday, June 1, 1999

Garduno, Creager claim top flight in tournament

PECOS, June 1 -- The team of Jason Garduno and Kelly Creager took first place by one stroke over a pair of teams on Sunday, in the Championship Flight of the Pecos Men's Golf Association's Memorial Day Tournament.

Garduno and Creager won the two man low-ball tournament with a two-day total of 63-66-129, one stroke up on the teams of Sammy Jimenez and Barry McCallister and Micky Scott and Cory Adams. Jimenez and McCallister shot a 62-68-130, then won a one hole playoff for second over Scott and Adams, who shot a 67-63 over 36 holes of play.

A total of 62 teams in six flights were entered in this year's tournament, which is held annually the final weekend of May.

In the First Flight, Ismael Juarez and Steve Valenzuela were one-stroke winners over David and Gerald Barnett. Juarez and Valenzuela shot a 66-69-135 while the Barnetts shot 70-66-136. Al Bishop and Terry Burton were third, with a 68-71-139 score.

Roger Espinoza and Bobby Garduno won first place in the Second Flight with the same final total as Juarez and Valenzuela, though their 135 total came the reverse way, with a 69 on Saturday and a 66 on Sunday. They finished three strokes ahead of Beau Jack and Beau Tate Hendrick, who shot 69-69-138, while Ken Winkles and Mike Goode were third, with a 68-71-139 score.

Third Flight winners were Jack Ruiz and Elisio Martinez in a playoff over Raul Molinar and Danny Hernandez. Both teams shot 143s, with Ruiz and Martinez shooting 70 in the opening round and 73 over the final 18 holes, while Molinar and Hernandez shot 73 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday. Gary Hennessey and Rick Montemayor were third, with a 71-74-145 total.

In the Fourth Flight, Tommy Kute and Joe Bravo won with a 145 score, after rounds of 75 and 70. Jerry Patterson and Starkey Warren were second with a 76-72-148 score, and Scott McCarthy and Dodson Russell were third, shooting 77-72-149.

In the Fifth Flight, Jesse Anchondo and Gilbert Herrera won with a 72-76-148 score, two strokes up on Pablo Alvarado and Phil Cardera, Sr., who shot 75s both days for a 150 total. Two strokes back in third were Jim Miller and Mike Murphy, who shot 75-77-152 for the 36 hole tournament.

Spurs burn Blazers on Elliott's 3-pointer

AP Sports Writer
SAN ANTONIO, June 1 -- The moment was one a shooter lives for, and Sean Elliott can shoot with the best of them.

Standing on his toes just inside the sideline, Elliott sank a 3-pointer with nine seconds to go Monday night to give the San Antonio Spurs an amazing 86-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

``I dream about making bigger shots,'' Elliott said. ``Hopefully, if we make the finals, I'll have a chance. I don't know if I have ever hit a bigger one.''

It was an incredible end to a great game for Elliott, whose silky-smooth jumper was on target throughout. He was 6-for-7 from 3-point range, and his next-to-last 3-pointer with under a minute to play cut Portland's lead to 84-81.

``I felt good the whole game,'' Elliott said. ``Sometimes you get in a situation where you feel that you can't miss.''

The Spurs, who trailed by 18 in the third quarter, led only once -- at the finish.

``In a word, I would probably say gut-wrenching,'' Portland coach Mike Dunleavy said.

The Spurs have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which won't resume until Friday at Portland's Rose Garden.

``I'm pretty sure they thought they had this game in the bag,'' Elliott said, ``so for us to come back and win has got to break their backs a little bit.''

Damon Stoudamire, who scored 15 points for the Blazers, missed one of two free throws with 12 seconds to play to keep the door open for San Antonio, which called timeout.

``We came out of the huddle with a couple of options,'' Mario Elie said. ``Sean looked at me and said, `I've got one more in me.' I got him the ball, and sure enough, he had another bullet.''

Elliott barely avoided a steal attempt by Stacey Augmon, then let go from his toes on the sideline as Rasheed Wallace lunged toward him. Replays showed his heels would have touched the sideline if he hadn't stayed on his toes.

The ball went in, and the packed Alamodome crowd of 35,260 went wild.

``From where I was, it looked like it was off,'' Stoudamire said. ``But that just seems to be the luck this team has when we play them. You just don't have an answer for when a guy hits a shot like that.''

Jim Jackson was stopped on a baseline drive, and Walt Williams missed on the rebound in the final seconds as Elliott chipped in with some crucial defense on the play.

It was the fifth time Portland has lost to the Spurs in six tries this season, and each loss has gone down to the wire. This one was the closest yet.

``It's getting harder and harder for them to beat us here,'' Dunleavy said.

Portland can use the long layoff to get over this one.

``We're so sick and tired of losing to this team right now. They've become a thorn in our side,'' Stoudamire said. ``But by no means is this series over. We still feel good about ourselves and we still feel we can win this series.''

Tim Duncan had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Spurs, while Elliott added 22 on 8-of-10 shooting, his best ever in the playoffs. David Robinson scored 14 points and had the game's biggest steal.

Arvydas Sabonis, who had only five points in Portland's 80-76 loss in Game 1 Saturday, had 17 points for the Blazers, while Wallace, saddled with foul trouble all game, had 13 points, 15 fewer than he had in Game 1.

Elliott's 3-pointer with just under a minute to go cut the Blazers' lead to 84-81. On Portland's next possession, Robinson stole the ball from Wallace at the top of the key. Elie was fouled by Williams on the subsequent layup attempt, and made both free throws to cut the lead to 84-83.

Stoudamire missed a jumper, but Williams got the rebound. The Spurs, with a foul to give, fouled Jackson quickly, then fouled Stoudamire to send him to the line.

He missed the first free throw, swore loudly at himself, then made the second to put Portland ahead 85-83 with 12 seconds to go.

Portland shot out to a 21-10 lead, was up by 17 in the second quarter and stretched it to 18 early in the third. The Spurs used a 17-2 run in the third quarter to cut the lead to 54-51.

After Sabonis hit a 20-footer and Stoudamire followed with a 17-footer to start the second half, the Blazers had their biggest lead, 52-34.

But the Spurs roared to life with an outburst that began and ended with 3-pointers by Elliott.

Avery Johnson, who missed his first seven shots, made two jumpers during the run and Elie added a 3-pointer and layup. Meanwhile, Wallace and Brian Grant both left the game with four fouls.

Duncan's three-point play, followed by Robinson's reverse layup, cut Portland's lead to 73-72 with 5:25 to play. But Jackson made a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired to make it 76-72, then followed with a layup, his only points of the game, and Portland led 78-72 with 4:26 to go.

Wallace made two jumpers and Stoudamire hit a 15-footer to put Portland ahead 84-76 with 1:59 to play.

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