SAN ANTONIO – Final update: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets 103-92 in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals. The Spurs are now 2-1 against the Rockets. The next game is set for Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
End of 3rd quarter update: Spurs hanging onto 72-66 lead. Kawhi has 19 points while Aldridge and Gasol have combined for 27 points. James Harden has 27 points.
End of 2nd quarter update: Spurs trail Rockets. San Antonio's defense has been very good, but their offense struggled including Kawhi Leonard has 10 points and 4 assists.The Spurs defense has also contained James Harden. Solid games so far from LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol who have combined for 21 points.
End of 1st quarter update: Spurs trail Rockets 21-19 in low scoring quarter. Dejounte Murray got the start and his nerves showed but the Spurs are hanging tough. LaMarcus Aldridge has six points. Pau Gasol has five points.
The Spurs spoke Friday morning for the first time about the loss of Tony Parker, who will miss the rest of the playoffs with a leg injury. Parker's streak of 221 consecutive playoff appearances will end.
Parker underwent successful surgery Friday morning, but the Spurs have not announced a timetable for his recovery.
The Spurs held shoot around Friday morning as they prepare for Game 3 of the Rockets series. (CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW)
Here is what head coach Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili had to say:
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For the first time since he put on a Spurs uniform 16 years ago, Tony Parker will miss a playoff game with the Spurs due to a ruptured quadriceps tendon.
"It's a tough blow, not only because of what he means to the team, but anytime someone that you are close to has such a bad injury you feel bad and it lingers for a bit," said Manu Ginobili. "So we are all thinking about him."
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talked with Tony after the injury and wrapped up his feelings in one phrase.
"Of course he's devastated," Popovich said.
As much as they miss him and will be thinking about him they have to move on.
The Spurs have a Game 3 to play against the Rockets.
San Antonio tied the series at one win apiece after they big win Wednesday night and have a chance to get the lead in the series with a win Friday.
Without Tony the Spurs will be making some adjustments, first with the starting lineup.
No matter who starts the point position may be lead by committee with Kawhi Leonard getting a majority of ball handling time.
"It's not rocket science," said Popovich. "You have to play the game and play to win it doesn't matter who's hurt and who's not hurt, nobody cares."
"We all have to do a little bit more," Ginobili said," It is an unusual situation for us, we'll see how we respond we have no president no experience and we will try and face it the best way possible."
While San Antonio tries to figure out how to play without Tony they also have to make some other adjustments, like how to keep James Harden to going off.
He was held to 3 of 17 shooting in Game Two and the Spurs know that will probably change.
"That's not going to happen, we are going to have to have and even better game, be smarter even offensively."
The Rockets will also be a little different, if the Spurs go big with Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge again, the Rockets will be ready.
"We've got to run them, get their bigs in pick and rolls, take advantage of our spacing, go to the basket," said Ryan Anderson.
The key for the Spurs may not be what they do physically but mentally since they will be without Parker.
"We can't be having that negative thought in you, you just go face the next game the best way possible with the players you've got, we still are a great team, we still have depth and hopefully we can play a good game without him," Ginobili said.
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