Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Spurs tie series, Cavaliers cruise


Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs goes to the basket against the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final series at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 34 points on Wednesday as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets 121-96 to level their NBA playoff series at 1-1.

Leonard also delivered eight assists and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who now travel to Houston for Game 3 and Game 4 of the best-of-seven second-round Western Conference series.

“We were focused,” Leonard said. “We lost by 30 points last game so we didn’t want to disappoint the fans.”

San Antonio’s win could prove to be costly because of an injury to guard Tony Parker. The Frenchman had to be carried off the floor by his teammates with 8 minutes, 43 seconds remaining after suffering a leg injury.

Meanwhile, LeBron James reached another milestone as the Cleveland Cavaliers nailed 18 shots from beyond the arc en route to a 125-103 rout of the Toronto Raptors in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

San Antonio led 97-83 at the time of Parker’s injury. The incident took place when Parker missed a short layup and landed underneath the Rockets’ basket. He had scored 18 points before leaving the game.

Parker clutched his left knee as he lay on the floor. He was carried off by teammates Dewayne Dedmon and Dejounte Murray, and did not look up as the crowd chanted his name.

“I just hope he is OK because we need him the next game,” Leonard said.

Parker was expected to undergo an MRI scan yesterday.

“It is not good,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Parker.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points for the Spurs, while Jonathon Simmons added 14 points and Danny Green scored all of his 12 in the first half.

In Cleveland, James became the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer in the post-season with a 39-point performance as the Cavaliers crushed the Toronto Raptors in Game 2.

James nailed a three-pointer in the second half to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points) for second place. Michael Jordan is first with 5,987 playoff points.

“You find somebody to stop LeBron in these moments, I’ll give you US$100,” Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan said.

The win gives Cleveland a 2-0 series lead.

James also joined Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Manu Ginobili to become the fourth player in NBA history to make 300 playoff three-pointers in a career.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” James said. “My teammates do a great job of putting me in position.”

Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 11 assists for Cleveland, who also received 18 points from Channing Frye. Iman Shumpert came off the bench to score 14.

The Raptors were led by Jonas Valanciunas who had 23 points. All-Star guard Kyle Lowry scored 20 points, but injured his left ankle in the third quarter and was out of the game for good by the fourth.

DeRozan was limited to five points on two-of-11 shooting.

“It sucks, to lose like we did,” DeRozan said. “Now I just have the added time having to wait till Friday night to redeem myself.”

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