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Report: Spurs Demote Tony Parker to Bench, to Start Dejounte Murray

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San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker met with Gregg Popovich before Sunday’s 94-86 loss against the Indiana Pacers, and the coach told him he “thought it was time” to go with someone else in the starting lineup.

So, with second-year man Dejounte Murray hitting the court with the starters at point guard, Parker came off the bench for the 21st time of his 17-year career (postseason included), and for the first time since the 2010 playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks.

“I was like, ‘Oh, no problem,'” an upbeat Parker said of his reaction to Popovich’s decision. “Just like Manu [Ginobili], just like Pau [Gasol], that day’s going to come. And if Pop sees something that is good for the team, I’ll try to do my best. I support Pop’s decision, and I’ll try to help [Dejounte Murray] out as best I can, and try to be the best I can in that second unit with Manu [Ginobili] and Patty [Mills].”

After undergoing surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon last May, Parker spent seven months working through the rehabilitation process, and returned to the lineup Nov. 27 in a win over the Mavericks. Throughout Parker’s return, the Spurs have worked to manage the veteran’s minutes. But Parker admitted to “hitting a wall” recently, saying “I’m just more focused on my leg because I know I [still] have another two months before I feel 100 percent.”

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Antetokounmpo’s Late Tip-in Wins Game for Bucks to Even Series

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Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points in Sunday’s Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics, but it was his offensive rebound and tip-in off a Malcolm Brogdon miss that gave the Bucks a lead with 5.1 seconds left, and ultimately a 104-102 win.

“At the end of the day in the playoffs, we know we have the best player on the floor,” Brogdon said of Antetokounmpo. “So we rely on him, and he comes through.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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John Wall Helps Wizards Even Series After Beal Fouls Out Late

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An infuriated Bradley Beal held his head in disgust and was literally hopping mad at officials who called his sixth and final foul with 4:58 remaining in Game 4 after Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan ran into him chasing down an offensive rebound.

With the game and potentially their season hanging in the balance, the Washington Wizards managed to overcome the loss of their leading scorer and what they believed were “soft calls” by the officiating crew to even their best-of-seven series with a 106-98 win over the Raptors. Washington finished the game with a 14-6 John Wall-fueled run to win extend its postseason home winning streak to eight.

Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN

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Spurs’ Parker, Ginobili Make Playoff History with Win Over GSW

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Before the start of the NBA playoffs, no other player age 40 or older had scored double figures off the bench in a postseason game. Manu Ginobili has now done that twice, and has earned win No. 132, giving him and Tony Parker the most playoff wins together of any teammates in NBA history.

“Of course, the feeling of the last quarter was great because we were all doing good,” Ginobili said after scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting to help San Antonio defeat the Warriors 103-90 and force Game 5 on Tuesday in Oakland, California.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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