Spurs Halfway to Championship

Created Monday, 11 June 2007 23:05

Spurs Clip Cavs 103-92

Written by Randy Watson

For 3½ quarters, the Spurs had their way with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.  Then, over the last few minutes, the Spurs allowed Cleveland to scratch their way back in a flurry of steals and baskets, and make what had been a one-sided affair a bit closer than it actually was.  Still, at the end of the game, San Antonio handled the Cavs easily, and now sits within two games of another NBA Championship.

The Spurs have three legitimate superstars on their team, but it is uncommon for all three to put up numbers like they did Sunday night.  Tim Duncan was unstoppable on the inside, scoring 23 points, 9 rebounds, and leading the team with 8 assists.  Off the bench, Manu Ginobili scored 25 (on 4-6 shooting from behind the 3-point arc) and grabbed 6 rebounds.

But the star of the game was the little French point guard, Tony Parker.  Parker was simply amazing from start to finish.  The whole game Parker drove the lane for layups, knocked down long jump shots, and even scored some on rebounds and put-backs in the paint.  At the end of the action, he had finished with 30 points on 13-20 shooting, even knocking down a three-pointer, something he’s certainly not known for.  At halftime, the Spurs had a 58-33 lead, and the \”Big 3\” of San Antonio had outscored the entire Cavs team by 10 points.

Still for all the great play by San Antonio, the Cavs did finally show a spark late in the game.  Trailing by as many as 29 points, the Cavs managed to go on a 22-4 run late, to cut the deficit down to as few as 8 points before the Spurs finally put a stop to it.  The Cavs great LeBron James, coming off a lackluster Game 1 was quiet for most of the game, getting into foul trouble early, but did come on strong late, to finish with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.  He also had 6 turnovers.  Cleveland\’s sensational rookie, Daniel Gibson, had 15 points on 6-12 shooting.

For the Spurs, the blueprint to this game was all too familiar.  Yes, they came out with the win, but letting a team come back late when they should be finished is never a good thing.  Still, the game was hardly in doubt, even when the Cavs got the lead down under 10, the Spurs veteran leadership took over, as Manu Ginobili got Gibson to bite on a pump-fake, drawing the foul, as he buried a long three-pointer and subsequent free throw to end the comeback and close out the game.

The way the series has gone so far, the Spurs look to be in total control, and seem to be a lock to win their fourth championship, quite possibly in a sweep.  The Cavs, however, have shown that, although they are young, they are fast learners.  Against Detroit, they dropped the first two games, only to go on and win the next four.  With the next three games coming in Cleveland, the Spurs need to take the energy that they have built, and come out strong, as they have so far.

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