Tony Parker to undergo season-ending surgery for ruptured left quadriceps tendon

Houston Rockets center Nene, left, blocks the shot of San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Friday, May 5, 2017, in Houston. San Antonio is 66-24 overall, 31-12 on the road and 46-42-2 against the spread. After getting buried in the first game, the Spurs responded with a 25-point drubbing of the Rockets in game 2.

Game 4 is Sunday night in Houston.

Making his first shot of the game, Aldridge said, worked wonders. But Parker and Ginobili, while not being the only players on the team with a connection to recent history and especially their most recent title, represent, along with Popovich, the remaining link to the Great Spurs, a concept that began with Duncan joining David Robinson in the late 90's, and hasn't really dies out. "Of course he's going to be missed", Popovich said.

Facing an 0-1 deficit after an embarrassing 27-point loss on their own floor to the Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, they turned to the two-time defending NBA Defensive Player of the Year to take on the challenge of checking MVP candidate James Harden. They could still beat the Rockets in this series without Parker. Mills finished with 15 points and buried two three-pointers.

The result was a 103-92 win by the Spurs in Houston, giving the Spurs a 2-1 lead in the series. The two teams will meet again in Houston on Friday night in a Game 3 that could go either way. His 10.1 points-per-game average in the regular season was his lowest since his rookie year in 2001-02.

"Nothing they did should have bothered us, we just didn't play good". However, being an effective two-way player can leave you vulnerable on the offensive end.

Leonard went at an impressive 13-of-16 from the field, including three-of-four from three-point range.

Harden also led the league in assists.

In fact, it turned out to be a mixed bag for Murray, thrown to the NBA's junkyard dog of defenders, Patrick Beverley. Murray has shown some flashes of being a solid pro - most notably a 24-point effort against the Denver Nuggets in January - but he clocked a lot of DNP-CD's this season, and he's likely not be ready for a significant role in a heated playoff series. Teammates tried to help him limp to the sideline, then had to carry him.

"I don't know what they've done any different, they haven't done anything different", Rockets' Mike D'Antoni said after the game.

"You find somebody to stop LeBron in these moments, I'll give you $100", Toronto's DeMar DeRozan said. Houston has to get back to playing fast and free, and they've just got to knock down their threes.

  • Julie Sanders