Hands in his suit pockets, Tony Parker walked slowly out of AT&T Center late Tuesday showing a slight limp. How well he’s moving over the next couple days could determine the next turn in the NBA Finals.
Parker suffered a right hamstring injury during the Spurs’ 113-77 rout over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Finals. He said he’s uncertain about the seriousness of the new injury and whether he will be able to play in Thursday’s Game 4. He has an MRI scheduled for 11 a.m. ET Wednesday.
Tony Parker played 27 minutes in Game 3 before leaving with a hamstring injury. (Getty Images)While the Spurs own a 2-1 lead in the series, losing Parkerwould present a major hurdle to their hopes of winning a fifth title.
“I’m trying to stay positive,” Parker said. “Hopefully … I think it was just tight, a little cramp, a little bit of everything and I’ll be fine. I’ll wake up tomorrow and I’ll be fine, that’s my hope. I’ll just try to stay positive.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took Parker out of Game 3 for good with 10:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. Parker described the injury as “really weird” and said he couldn’t remember when or how he suffered it. He finished with six points on 2-of-5 shooting with eight assists in 27 minutes.
Parker was the last Spurs player to speak with reporters after spending a long time getting medical treatment on his hamstring. Parker was hampered by a calf injury in the second round of the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors, but has not had a notable injury since.
“We’ll see,” Parker said. “…We’ll have an MRI tomorrow, and hopefully it’s nothing big and it’s just a little cramping, or it got tight on me. It was just a weird feeling, and I just wanted to make sure the doc thought I was OK.
“I played only two minutes in the fourth quarter. We were up big, so Pop didn’t want to take no risks. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Parker didn’t arrive to the AT&T Center until about an hour before tip-off after driving through what he called the “worst traffic in 12 years.” He said it took him two hours to get to the arena from Northwest San Antonio because traffic was snarled by rain and high school graduations. Parker said that he didn’t warm up like he normally does before games because of his tardiness, but he didn’t blame it for the injury.
If Parker can’t play in Game 4 – or beyond – the Spurs will likely start Cory Joseph. The second-year guard averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 assists in nine games as a starter this season and had two points and four assists in Game 3. The Spurs also have a third point guard in Patty Mills, but have used Manu Ginobili as a primary ball-handler with their reserves, alongside Gary Neal.
“It is really up in the air,” Parker said of his status. “I have no idea.”
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