EDS: WILL be UPDATED with quotes.
AP Photos
By ELIZABETH WHITE
Associated Press Writer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -A long layoff wasn't going to bother the San Antonio Spurs. Even a week off could not make Tim Duncan and Tony Parker forget how to play in the NBA finals.
With LeBron James' much-hyped finals debut falling flat, Duncan and Parker and led the Spurs to an 85-76 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Thursday night.
Parker led the Spurs with 27 points and seven assists while Duncan had 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
Parker has taken on an increased leadership role on the court as Duncan's calm steadiness guides the team. Duncan could be on his way to a fourth finals MVP title if the Spurs beat the Cavs three more times.
But the Spurs weren't without a little flair. They revved up the crowd, mostly dressed in white shirts reading ``Go Spurs Go,'' with six 3-pointers.
The Spurs hadn't played since midway through last week, when they beat the Utah Jazz for the Western Conference title.
The Spurs finished 6-of-16 from beyond the arc with Manu Ginobili, who had 16 points, hitting half of the 3s.
Ginobili acknowledged after the game that the Spurs were a little rusty, but it was hard to tell from watching Parker and Duncan.
And Bruce Bowen was largely responsible for holding James to just 14 points.
Duncan and Parker combined to go 22-of-40 from the field. They had 38 points in the first three quarters - only 11 fewer than the Cavs.
When Duncan couldn't finish Parker's alley-oop pass for a dunk with the Spurs up by nine and 2:47 left in the third quarter, he apologized by taking Parker under his arm and patting his head as the two shared a laugh walking back up the court.
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