NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- DeJuan Blair scored 23 points and Tim Duncan had four key points down the stretch as the San Antonio Spurs beat the short-handed Hornets 89-86 on Saturday night.
The Spurs, chasing the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the Western Conference, trailed by a point twice in the final two minutes. Duncan responded each time, atoning for a lackluster game by making two free throws and tipping in a missed shot with 1:19 left to give San Antonio the lead for good.
Jarrett Jack had 27 points for the Hornets, 25 in the first three quarters. He also committed a turnover and missed a driving layup in the final 32.7 seconds.
Duncan finished with 13 points and seven rebounds but was only 4 of 11 from the field.
New Orleans had one final chance to tie after the Spurs' Danny Green missed two free throws with 2.3 seconds left, but Marco Belinelli threw up an airball in traffic after catching an inbounds pass.
Stephen Jackson added 15 points off the bench. Tony Parker had 12 points and 10 assists. The Spurs played without Manu Ginobili, who stayed in San Antonio to rest a sore hip.
Carl Landry contributed 15 points for the Hornets, who were missing three starters from their win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Neither team led by more than six points in an ugly game with 14 ties and 16 lead changes. The Spurs were ahead by one at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets had a one-point advantage at halftime and the Spurs led by one again at the end of the third.
The largest advantage was three in the final four minutes, but the Spurs, who shot 6 of 21 in the fourth quarter and missed their final 12 3-point shots, made just enough plays to win.
After Duncan's tip-in, Green took a wild pass from Parker and hit a contested baseline jumper to give San Antonio an 89-86 lead in the final minute. Jack was called for carrying the ball on the Hornets' next possession. Parker then missed a leaner, and Jack was short on a driving layup.