|3-pointers, not Big Three, lead Spurs to win|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 12 June 2007 22:22|
San Antonio went 10-of-19 from behind the arc in their 75-72 win Tuesday. And all but one of them came from someone other than Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
The Spurs are now up 3-0 over the Cleveland Cavaliers and just one win shy of their fourth NBA title.
San Antonio defender Bruce Bowen led the way with four 3-pointers. Brent Barry added three 3s and Robert Horry, Michael Finley and Parker had one each.
Meanwhile, the Spurs' top scorers were having a harder time offensively. Parker finished with 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Duncan had 14 points and went 6-of-17 from the field.
And Ginobili didn't hit a shot from the field, missing all seven he took. He finished with just 3 points, though all were crucial free throws in the closing 10.4 seconds of the game.
``I don't remember it happening many times where Tim didn't play good and I didn't play good,'' Ginobili said. ``Tony was OK, he made some big shots and we still won. So, it talks great about this team and how we can face some trouble.''
Ginobili went to the line with the Spurs leading 72-70. He missed the first, but made the second. Then, with 5.5 seconds to go, he hit two more to make it 75-72.
``Offensively we could not get the ball in the basket,'' reserve swingman Barry said. ``Nobody for us was having a good game as far as Tim, Tony and Manu are concerned offensively. But we kept getting stops and getting in there and we know it was ugly but we are up 3-0 at the end of the day and that's all that counts in the series.''
Duncan averaged just over 23 points a game during the playoffs coming into Tuesday's matchup, while Parker averaged 20.8 and Ginobili 16.8.
The Spurs' top-scoring trio was far less effective than usual in the low-scoring, physical game marked more by mistakes and turnovers than by spectacular play.
Instead, it was San Antonio's supporting cast that kept the Spurs in it.
``It's difficult to go into a game and say tonight we're going to take 3s or tonight Timmy Duncan is going to shoot 28 times,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ``It's best that one takes what's given, and that's what we tried to do.''
Parker even got into the long-range shooting, hitting just his fifth 3 of these playoffs.
``Coach Pop doesn't like me to shoot 3s, but he told me next year I can go back and shoot 3s ... so I decided to start a little bit in the playoffs,'' Parker joked. ``I know he was screaming when I took it.''
Duncan and Popovich sang the praises of Bowen in particular.
``He did everything for us,'' Duncan said. ``He sat down and defended for 44 minutes out there. He made some big shots for us, rebounded the ball. Just an unbelievable effort on his part. You can't say enough about him.''
The Cavs, in contrast, were just 3-of-19 from 3-point range.
``During the course of the ball game, one thing that we did do, we shot a lot of 3s versus their hard closeouts,'' Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. ``Both teams shot 19, they made 10, we made three. Other than that, just about every other category, I thought statistically we played OK.''