TAMPA, JAN. 27 -- There were dozens of large and small plays in Super Bowl XXV tonight, but for the New York Giants none was bigger than Stephen Baker's 14-yard touchdown catch with 25 seconds left in the first half.

That got the Giants within 12-10 at intermission, and they got the lead back by opening the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive.

Baker had only four touchdown catches during the regular season, and on a team that relies on Ottis Anderson's power and Mark Bavaro's blocking, he's not the most recognizable Giant.

But on third and 10 from the Buffalo 14, he ran an out pattern to the left sideline and beat Nate Odomes. Jeff Hostetler threw a perfect pass.

"We told ourselves we had to make plays to keep our defense off the field and to just keep going at them," Baker said. "We did a great job of mixing up the run and the pass. And once we established that running game, it was real hard for them to stop the clock. We ate that up pretty good." Giants 'D': Dull, Deadly

The Giants play an odd style. They played for their defense, the best in the game, and they're often called dull and predictable. But it works.

"Power wins football games," said Coach Bill Parcells. "It's not always the fanciest way, but it wins." . . .

Parcells refused to discuss speculation that he may retire, although he has hinted several times that it's on his mind. "The last time we won one of these there was a little controversy about me and it didn't allow my owners and general manager to enjoy this very much," he said. "They're going to enjoy this one, I promise you." . . .

Matt Bahr beat the 49ers with a last-second field goal and he kicked two more today, including a 21-yarder with 7:20 remaining. "There was anxiety involved, but it gives you all the more reason to concentrate on the basics such as keeping your head down and following through," he said.

Asked about Scott Norwood's 47-yard miss at the end, Bahr said: "I feel for Scott. I really do. That's a tough kick under any situation. It really was tough because you don't want to root against an individual, but I'm ecstatic about getting another ring."

He landed with the Giants after being released by the Browns and was picked up when Parcells became frustrated with the oft-injured Raul Allegre.

"I had nine good years with the Browns and could have sat back and retired," he said. "But when the Giants gave me a call. . . . It couldn't have worked out better. I really appreciate the chance." . . .

A mini-controversy developed last week when it became clear ABC would use halftime for a news update on the Persian Gulf War. That meant the Disney-produced show would be seen only by the people in the stands.

But Disney got the show on television by airing it live on the Disney cable channel. ABC also carried a highlight package of the show after a 15-minute news program. 49ers Too Overconfident

The San Francisco 49ers weren't here for the first time in three years, and that development caught a lot of people by surprise, including the 49ers. The organization known for its precision planning had already begun setting up an office at the NFC hotel, with 68 desks, 112 telephone lines, fax machines, file cabinets and computers in place. A box of invitations for the "Super Bowl XXV" victory party was also found. Safety a Rarity

Bruce Smith's safety against Jeff Hostetler was only the fifth in Super Bowl history. George Martin of the Giants in 1987 was the last to do it. . . . Thurman Thomas scored his seventh touchdown in six career postseason games. . . . MVP voting: Ottis Anderson 7 1/2 votes, Hostetler 4 1/2 votes and Dave Meggett and Thomas one apiece. . . .

The Giants established a Super Bowl record by controlling the ball for 40 1/2 minutes. The previous record was 39:31 by San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV.

Their 9 1/2-minute touchdown drive to open the second half is also a Super Bowl record. The previous was 7:07 by San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV. . . . The closest Super Bowl before this one was Baltimore's victory over Dallas, 16-13, in Super Bowl V.