After an overwhelming 113-77 home victory in Game Three of the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs should be nothing but elated with their effort against the Miami Heat.
But an injury to star point guard Tony Parker has put a damper on things.
The Spurs are up 2-1 on the Heat, but Parker’s strained right hamstring has left his status for Thursday’s Game Four and San Antonio's chances to take a commanding lead in question.
Parker will undergo an MRI Wednesday and he is currently listed as day-to-day after leaving Game Three with 5:07 remaining in the third quarter.
"We'll see," Parker said to reporters after Game Three. "We'll get an MRI tomorrow, and hopefully it's nothing big and it's just a hamstring that got tight on me."
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Before leaving the game, Parker had six points and eight assists.
Despite Parker’s absence, the Spurs rained three-pointers on the Heat, with guards Danny Green and Gary Neal combining for 51 points and 13 threes. San Antonio set a new Finals record with 16 combined three-pointers.
But head coach Gregg Popovich can’t rely on another unprecedented shooting display and hopes to avoid a prolonged stint on the bench for Parker.
In 17 games this postseason, Parker has averaged 21.3 points and 7.1 assists on 47 percent shooting from the field. The 31-year-old has fueled the Spurs' offense all season and has supplanted center Tim Duncan as the club’s first option.
San Antonio went 11-4 in the regular season with Parker out of the lineup, but his ability to penetrate the Heat’s perimeter can’t be matched by any other Spur. He missed an eight-game stretch in March, and San Antonio went 6-2, but half of those wins came against sub-.500 teams.
Neal and Cory Joseph play behind Parker, but Popovich could also ask Manu Ginobili to bring the ball up for long stretches. The 35-year-old Argentine is averaging 10.9 points and five assists a game in the playoffs.