WOULDA. COULDA. SHOULDA.

Might that be the Spurs' epitath in the '98 Western Conference seimfinals?For the second time in this series, the Spurs had the ball with a chance to win at game's end.

For the second time, they failed. . . .

(David) Robinson's pre-game comments regarding Malone's tendency to not only jump into him, but to kick also, seemed to work on the officials the better part of Game 2

However, when Robinson needed his rhetoric to work the most . . . it didn't.

"Now we get a chance to go home, and I know our fans will be psyched up," Spurs Avery Johnson said. "It's going to be a long series, but Game 3 is a must-win."

No, AJ, Game 2 was a must win.

Kevin O'Keeffe

San Antonio Express-News