Tony Parker scored 31 points, Tim Duncan added 29 points and 17 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 92-87 Game 5 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
The third-seeded Spurs will meet the No. 2 seed Hornets in a second-round series that begins Saturday at New Orleans. The Hornets finished off their series with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, also in five games.
Boris Diaw, who had a near triple-double in the Suns' rout of the Spurs in Game 4, led the Suns with 22 points.
Four other players scored in the double digits, but the Suns had a number of costly turnovers down the stretch and were sent home yet again by the Spurs, who have eliminated Phoenix in four of their last five playoff appearances.
With the Spurs up 88-87 after battling back and forth with the Suns throughout the fourth quarter, Manu Ginobili, who had been cold all night, hit one of two from the line with 25 seconds on the clock.
Steve Nash turned the ball over on an inbounds pass from Raja Bell, and Phoenix sent Ginobili to the line again with 23 seconds left. Ginobili hit both this time to make it 91-87.
Nash's 3-point attempt missed and Duncan hit another free throw. Diaw's last-second 3 missed, but it wouldn't have made a difference.
The Spurs outscored the Suns 23-15 in the fourth quarter, led by nine points apiece from Duncan and Parker.
The Suns were trying to become the first NBA team to come back from an 0-3 deficit, and they won Game 4 in Phoenix with gusto. They stayed in Game 5 until the end, trying to force a Game 6 back in Phoenix.
It was widely predicted that this might finally be the Suns' year and that the series would go the full seven games.
Instead, the Suns go home, falling short despite the midseason blockbuster trade for Shaquille O'Neal _ who was brought in specifically to match up better with teams like San Antonio.
Down three points to start the fourth, the Spurs battled back and Parker's under-the-basket feed to Duncan gave the Spurs a 77-76 lead with 6:43 to play.
Nash's first basket of the quarter, a mid-range jumper, put the Suns back up by one, 82-81, with 3:10 on the clock. After Parker's jumper put the Spurs up 85-82, Nash answered with his first 3 of the night to tie it.
Nash fouled Parker, who hit one of two from the line to give the Spurs a one-point cushion. His free throw was the go-ahead basket for the Spurs.
With just under 40 seconds to play, Diaw threw the ball out of bounds and Parker's jumper fell with 29 on the clock for an 88-85 Spurs lead. Diaw's quick layup brought Phoenix within 88-87.
Amare Stoudemire scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Bell added 14 points and O'Neal scored 13.
The Spurs jumped out to as much as an eight-point lead in the first quarter before the Suns evened things in the second.
O'Neal's dunk with 7:08 left put the Suns up 39-36 and Phoenix successfully ran the offense through Diaw, who had a near triple-double in the Suns' Game 4 rout. He put them up 43-40 with 4:31 left in the second quarter and had 12 points at halftime.
But the Spurs closed the half with an 11-2 run led by Parker, who had 20 points in the half, to go up 54-45.
And the Hack-a-Shaq, when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has his players intentionally foul O'Neal, worked to San Antonio's advantage. O'Neal, a 52 percent career free-throw shooter, made just 5-of-14 from the line.
Still, the Spurs had struggles. Ginobili, San Antonio's leading scorer in the regular season, picked up three fouls in the first half and had just two points at the break.
And while Nash had just two assists and six points after three quarters, his team was picking up the slack.
The Suns went on a 15-2 run, with O'Neal on the bench for most of it with four fouls, to take the lead. Bell's jumper as he fell to the floor put the Suns up 62-60 and his 3 after the Suns grabbed an offensive board and passed the ball all over the floor to finally find him open put them up 65-62.
Diaw's fast-break dunk made it 67-62 Phoenix with 2:14 left. They led the rest of the quarter and took a 72-69 lead into the fourth period.
Notes:@ Popovich also tried the so-called "Hack-a-Skinner" on Suns F-C Brian Skinner toward the end of the first quarter. Skinner, a 56 percent career free-throw shooter, hit three of four. ... Ginobili was just 2-of-11 from the field and scored eight points. All of his points in the fourth quarter were on free throws. ... Nash finished 4-of-16 from the field for 11 points. ... Kurt Thomas had 12 rebounds for San Antonio.