Spurs stars look to rebound at home

Agence France-Presse
The San Antonio Spurs will be looking to regain the series lead as they host the Miami Heat on Finals Game 3.

THEIR OWN BIG THREE. Manu Ginobili and the rest of the Spurs will try to regain the series lead when they host the Miami Heat in Game 3. File photo from AFP.


SAN ANTONIO, United States — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs’ Big Three, will look to bounce back at home Tuesday, June 11 in game three of the NBA Finals after a collective sub-par performance.

The best-of-seven league championship was supposed to showcase the talents of the Spurs’ star trio but they combined for just 23 points in a 103-84 loss Sunday at Miami, where the defending champion Heat evened the series at 1-1.

“We have basically no shot at winning a game against them if none of us play good and we don’t play better,” Argentina’s Ginobili said.

The series now shifts to San Antonio for games three, four and five. Miami would host games six and seven if necessary.

‘I played awfully’

Duncan, who is in his 16th season, struggled throughout Sunday’s contest, going 3-of-13 from the field.

“I played awfully,” he said.

Just how bad was he? Duncan scored nine points for his worst scoring performance in 24 career NBA Finals games.

Parker was the hero in game one with with a clutch basket in the waning moments — the last of his 21 points. But he fizzled Sunday, finishing with just 13 points on five-of-14 shooting.

“It’s going to happen sometimes,” he said of all three not hitting their shots. “You have to give them a lot of credit. They played great defense. I had some good looks.

“Manu had some good looks and Timmy had some great looks. It’s a mix of them (Heat) playing great defense and us just missing shots.”

Parker had a game-high five turnovers after not committing one in the series opener.

San Antonio made only four turnovers in game one, but the Spurs committed 16 on Sunday and shot 41 percent from the field.

“Missing shots, not shooting well and turning it over are a bad combination,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Miami played their butts off.”

Mario Chalmers made a three-point play with just over three minutes to play in the third quarter to give the Heat a 64-62 lead. It helped ignite the Heat attack as Miami dominated the Spurs 42-22 the rest of the way.

Series not over yet

Parker said he expects a long series and plenty of momentum shifts.

“We are playing the defending champs,” Parker said. “We knew they were going to come and play with a lot more energy.

“So it is easy to bounce back after a loss and now it is our turn to see how we are going to handle our loss and how we are going to respond.”

The Spurs said Sunday they would have a team meeting try to figure out how to improve their offense and exploit some parts of Miami’s game plan.

Duncan said he is not reading too much into one loss. After all, the Spurs achieved their goal of winning at least one of two games in Miami.

“Obviously we were glad to win a game in game one,” Duncan said. “Our goal was to get two. But they got the one.

“We get to go back home. We have three at home, so we’re excited about that.

“It’s about getting refocused here, playing a much better game, ending quarters better, and hopefully shooting better.”

Duncan said he needs to get some time in at the gym to fine-tune his game and get his concentration working.

“I look at my shots and they are shots I want,” he said. “I am going to get back in the gym and hopefully come out with a better stroke. But I’m getting the shots I want. I just have to knock them down.” – Rappler.com

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