NBA

Parker struggles in Spurs' Game 2 loss to Heat

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Associated Press
6/9/2013 11:36:19 PM
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MIAMI -- There were no miracles from Tony Parker in Game 2.

And there wasn't much of anything from star teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Unstoppable for so much of this post-season, the San Antonio point guard was all bottled up in a 103-84 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 that evened the series Sunday night.

Parker scored only 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting and had five assists. It was an unusually quiet night for a player who was at the top of his game in leading the Spurs to their first finals appearance since 2007 and helped win Game 1 with a leaning bank shot with 5.2 seconds left.

"They were really aggressive, obviously," Parker said about a Heat team determined not to go down 0-2 in this best-of-seven series. "You have to give a lot of credit to their defence. They played great defence tonight. They were very aggressive on the pick-and-rolls and all our drives."

Parker also turned the ball over five times after having zero in his sterling Game 1 performance. Duncan had nine points on 3-for-13 shooting, and Ginobili had five points and missed four of his six shots.

"For sure Tim, Tony and me have to step up and play much better," Ginobili said. "We have basically no shot of winning against them if none of us play good. We have to play better."

Game 3 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.

Parker entered the game averaging 22.9 points and 7.1 assists for the playoffs and fresh off another scintillating performance to open pursuit of the franchise's fifth championship. He scored 21 points and had five assists, and had the shot of the game -- and maybe these playoffs -- when he went down to one knee, got up, pivoted around LeBron James and stepped through for a 16-foot jumper with a split-second left on the shot clock to hold off the Heat.

After two days off, the weary defending champions seemed to have a little extra jump in their step, especially on the perimeter. Mario Chalmers, who also scored 19 points, said he was determined to not let Parker slice and dice the Heat defence in the pick-and-roll like he did so many times in Game 1.

"My main focus is to stop Tony Parker," Chalmers said. "That's my job, to not let him get going."

Parker missed five of his first seven shots, and he didn't get much help from the other two of San Antonio's Big 3.

Ginobili picked up three quick fouls in the first half that limited his playing time and Duncan didn't have any of the same success against a rejuvenated Chris Bosh that he did in Game 1. Duncan had 20 points and 11 rebounds in that victory, but Bosh had 12 points, 10 boards, four assists and three steals in Game 2.

"I look at my shots and they are the shots I want," Duncan said. "Obviously they are contested shots, but they're the shots I feel I can make. So whether it be them or me or whatever it may be, I'm going to get back in the gym tomorrow and hopefully come out with a better stroke."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich threw his hands up when asked what changed for his three leaders between the first game and the second.

"Defence has something to do with it. Missing shots has something to do with it," Popovich said. "But any way you slice it, it's 10 for 33."

Thanks to 17 points from Danny Green on 6-for-6 shooting, the Spurs led 62-61 with under four minutes to play in the third quarter. That's when the Heat turned it on, ripping off a staggering 33-5 run that sent American Airlines Arena into a frenzy.

The Spurs couldn't find a sliver of daylight to run their usually precise offence, and Parker had nowhere to go against a host of Heat defenders. After tying a finals record with four turnovers in the first game, the Spurs committed 17 on Sunday night, which led to 19 points for the Heat.

"We just couldn't find answers tonight," Parker said.

After James threw down a soaring dunk to cap Miami's incredible surge and give Miami a 91-67 lead, Popovich pulled his three stars, and they watched the rest of the game from the bench, a golden opportunity to take a commanding lead vaporized in a flash.

"We were expecting to do better," Ginobili said. "That's the frustrating part. Of course you look at the result and being 1-1 is not bad. You don't want to play like this in the NBA Finals. You don't want to give them confidence and have you feeling bad about yourself."

Tony Parker (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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