- Joe Garza at Ball Don't Lie3 mths ago
SAN ANTONIO – For three quarters, it probably wasn't the NBA Finals game Tony Parker had imagined.
Although the Spurs were well on their way to a 104-87 NBA title-clinching victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday night in Game 5, Parker struggled to find his offense.
At the start of the fourth quarter the Spurs led 77-58, but Parker was just 1-of-11 from the floor with one assist.
But as he has done so many times in his 13-year career, Parker rose to the occasion as the Heat kinda, sorta showed some life and cut the lead to 79-65 with 9:57 remaining. From that point on, Parker scored 14 points to take away any Heat momentum and help guide the Spurs to their fifth championship.
"It was just a weird game for me," Parker said. "But I stuck with it, and the team was playing well, and so I was just trying to find my rhythm while the team was playing good.
"Finally, in the fourth quarter, a breakthrough for me. I made a couple shots and contributed to help the team win."
- Joe Garza at Yahoo Sports3 mths ago
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs have seen just about everything in their run as one of the most unique and outstanding franchises in modern sports history.
From various playoff disappointment and glory to four NBA championships to last season's collapse in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, nothing fazes these Spurs.
They remain unchanged and undaunted, neither hiding from last season's bitter loss to the Miami Heat nor expressing any unnatural urgency over the opportunity Sunday to win the franchise's fifth NBA title.
With a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, and a calm, confident demeanor that borders on nonchalance, there appears to be only one way to get a rise out of them: mention their age.
"We've been on our last run for the last five or six years from how everyone wants to put it," Tim Duncan said Saturday. "We show up every year, and we try to put together the best teams and the best runs possible because what people say doesn't matter to us."
When the 38-year-old Duncan specifically addressed his future, he was even more blunt, if not especially enlightening.
- Joe Garza at The Dagger5 mths ago
ARLINGTON, Texas – You've no doubt seen the pictures on Twitter. Those shots purported to be views from the "worst seats in the house" at AT&T Stadium, where the announced attendance of 79,444 Saturday was a Final Four record.
Well, after an epic climb to the highest, farthest reaches of the stadium affectionately referred to as "Jerry World" or the "Death Star," the truth is … those seats high in the rafters aren't that bad.
In the interest of authenticity, the decision was made to trek to the top of the stadium via the old-fashion, winding cement walkways. There would be no escalators or elevators on this journey, which took place during seventh-seeded UConn's 63-53 victory over top-seeded Florida. Besides, if things got really hairy and sustenance became an issue, drinks and food were readily available about every six feet, with enough available funds (Thanks, Jerry Jones!).
SAN ANTONIO – Entering the NCAA tournament, sixth-seeded Baylor had the billing of being one of the field's most dangerous teams.
It lived up to that reputation Sunday, advancing to the Sweet 16 with an 85-55 rout of third-seeded Creighton at the AT&T Center before an announced crowd of 13,431.
All-American Doug McDermott, the favorite to be named Player of the Year who entered the game averaging 27 points, was held to 15 on 7-of-14 shooting. He had three points in the first half, hitting just 1-of-4 shots.
"I'm not sure if it was Baylor being that good or us being that bad or if it was somewhere in between," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "Over the course of a season, you're going to have a few clunkers, and we had one at the wrong time."
SAN ANTONIO – Iowa State may have been without injured sophomore forward Georges Niang, but fortunately it had senior guard DeAndre Kane.
His driving layup with 1.6 seconds left gave the third-seeded Cyclones an 85-83 victory over the Tar Heelson Sunday in a third-round game at the AT&T Center.
SAN ANTONIO – What happened to sixth-seeded North Carolina in their East Regional opener at the AT&T Center on Friday?
They survived Bryce Cotton, that's what.
Providence's diminutive senior guard put on a show, scoring 36 points, but North Carolina held on to defeat the 11th-seeded Friars 79-77.
James Michael McAdoo hit the first of two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining to give the Tar Heels a 78-77 lead, and he rebounded his miss on the second attempt to get back to the line and seal the game by making one of two once again.
"Well, we feel very fortunate to say the least," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "We really did some good things and we really did some bad things. But we made a couple of plays at the end. We had a couple of guys that made big time shots and a couple guys that got big time rebounds for us."
SAN ANTONIO – Creighton offered just enough support and hit just enough shots to complement All-American Doug McDermott, turning back feisty Louisiana-Lafayette 76-66 Friday in the second West regional game before an announced crowd of 12,663 at the AT&T Center.
Fourteenth-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette was the smaller and quicker team and gave third-seeded Creighton fits for a while. Louisiana-Lafayette coach Bob Marlin made the interesting move of putting his best player, 6-3 junior guard Elfrid Payton, on the 6-8 McDermott. Payton used his speed and quickness to face-guard McDermott and occasionally give him trouble.
"I think I did a good job keeping him uncomfortable," Payton said. "To his credit, he made some plays down the stretch.
That's why McDermott is a Player of the Year candidate. He hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:06 remaining to put the Bluejays up 71-64 and essentially ice the game.
SAN ANTONIO – It wasn't a display of the prettiest basketball ever. As a matter of fact, it was downright ugly at times, even rivaling Baylor's neon yellow uniforms, which looked like something Oregon might have rejected.
But despite the questionable Day-Glo fashion statement, the sixth-seeded Bears were bigger, longer, stronger and more athletic than 11th-seeded Nebraska in the their opening 74-60 West Regional victory Friday.
- Joe Garza at The Dagger6 mths ago
SAN ANTONIO – With a little more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half of the Creghton-Louisiana Lafayette West regional matchup Friday at the AT&T Center, a potential folk hero named J.J. Davenport checked into the game.
Listed at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds on Louisiana Lafayette's website, Davenport is indeed a large man. But he had an instant impact, immediately drawing a charge and getting to the foul line on the ensuing possession.
The transfer from New Mexico Junior College has dropped more than 30 pounds, according to the school, to improve his quickness and endurance since joining the team. A center from Abbeville, La., Davenport averages 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game and is a 73.1 percent free-throw shooter.
- Joe Garza at The Dagger6 mths ago
SAN ANTONIO – One of the things that even the best HD TVs may not have picked up is how uncomfortably see-through Baylor's all-neon yellow unis were in its opening NCAA tournament game against Nebraska at the AT&T Center.
But sitting courtside it was like a direct view into the Bears' soul. Or at least their athletic undergarments. The Bears may have been a sixth seed, but their uniforms were No. 1 on the sheer creepy scale. You could even see the line from their tucked-in jerseys. Creepy, man. [NCAA tournament: Full bracket | Check out Instant Reactions | Buy team gear]