Parker’s 37 points lead Spurs back to Finals

Memphis, May 28 (IANS) Tony Parker scored 37 points as the San Antonio Spurs swept the Western Conference Finals series 4-0 by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 93-86 here.

This is the first time since the 2006-07 season the Spurs entered the NBA Finals and also the fifth conference title for the Spurs, which won all the four world championships in consequence. The Spurs now have 10 days off before they kick-off the Finals series against the winners of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers June 6, reports Xinhua.

“It’s a great feeling. Since last year, I promised to him (Tim Duncan) that we will go back to the Finals and get an opportunity to win the whole thing. I think everybody on the team really wanted to do it for him,” said Parker Monday with the trophy.

Parker was 15-out-of-21 in the field with six assists and four rebounds.

“I thought he (Parker) played better than any point guard in the league,” said Spur’s coach Gregg Popovich.

“Making the All-NBA second team really was deserved and he was moved by it. He continued to play the way you’ve seen at both ends of the court. He’s playing defence, also, but people just look at his scoring.”

The Spurs beat up the Grizzlies inside the paint 52-32 and kept pressure on the outside shooters. The Grizzlies tried to do the same as their opponents but only succeeded on one side, holding the Spurs to 0-out-of-8 from behind the arc in the first half.

Grizzlies’ guard Jerryd Bayless made back-to-back 3-pointers in the last minute of the first half, the only 3-pointers during that span, to close it on 44-38 before the break.

The six-point lead was maintained to the last two minutes of the game when the Spurs led 89-83. Marc Gasol, who had 14 points, cut it to 89-86 with one minute to go but Parker buried four free-throws to close out the game.

Zach Randolph had 13 points when the Grizzlies were led by reserve forward Quincy Pondexter by 22 points.

Duncan had 15 points and Kawhi Leonard adding 11 for the Spurs.

The Grizzlies fans gave ovation applauds to the team after the defeat.

The 2012-13 season marked the most successful season in Memphis franchise history, finishing the season with a 56-26 record and setting franchise records for overall wins and a couple of other records. The Grizzlies played the Conference Finals for the first time here.

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