- Series Hub: Spurs-Heat
SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs’ great nightmare: A knock-out injury to Tony Parker.
The All-NBA point guard is hopeful that’s not the case. Before gingerly walking out of the AT&T Center Tuesday night on an ailing right hamstring, Parker said he will undergo an MRI on Wednesday morning. Game 4 of the NBA Finals, which the Spurs lead 2-1 after their 113-77 Game 3 stomping of the Miami Heat, is on Thursday night.
“I felt something on my hamstring so I don’t know, I have no idea,” Parker said. “We will do an MRI. Hopefully it’s nothing big and it’s just a cramping or it got tight on me. I don’t know. It was a weird feeling.”
A Spurs team without its floor leader would enter Game 4 at a severe disadvantage, likely needing Game 3 co-hero Gary Neal (24 points that included 6-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc) to step into the starting lineup.
Parker had a playoff-low six points in Game 3 after scoring at least 13 in the previous 16 games, plus eight assists in under 28 minutes. He said the injury didn’t happen on a particular play and that it didn’t feel like anything he’s experienced previously. When asked if he was hurting, Parker said, “No.”
He left the game at the 5:07 mark of the third quarter. He went to the locker room briefly, returned to the bench and was back on the floor to start the fourth quarter, of which he played just 1:27 as the Spurs continued to pour it on.
“I just wanted to make sure the doctor said I was OK [after getting checked out],” Parker said. “And then I played two minutes in the fourth quarter and we were up big so Pop [coach Gregg Popovich] didn’t want to take a risk. We will see [Wednesday].”
Parker has been sensational throughout the postseason, averaging 21.3 ppg and 7.1 apg. His production has dipped in The Finals to 13.3 ppg and 6.3 ppg while complementary players Danny Green, in particular with a series-high 56 points (27 in Game 3 on 7-for-9 shooting from 3-point range), and Neal have heated up.