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25.08.2018 14:23
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SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker made good on his pledge before Game 4 of the NBA Finals: He was ready to go. He just didnt have it in him to finish. What began as a spectacular, told-you-so performance from the All-Star point guard ended with a scoreless second half and second-guessing about his strained right hamstring, which Parker said gradually sapped his strength as the San Antonio Spurs lost to the resurgent Miami Heat 109-93 on Thursday night. Parker, who repeatedly declared "Ill be ready to go" to questions about his health before Game 4, said afterward he "definitely got fatigued" in the second half. Thats when Parker took only four shots and made none. It was an abrupt reversal after a brilliant first half, when Parker looked like the NBAs best point guard -- just as he did at the start of the series. By the end, he settled for 15 points and nine assists in Game 4. "It was kind of weak. I didnt know what to expect," Parker said. "So the first three, four minutes I was kind of testing it, and the first half it felt OK. And the second half I think I got fatigued a little bit." Then he threw in a silver lining. "Overall Im just happy I didnt make it worse," he said. The series is tied 2-all heading into the final home game for San Antonio on Sunday night. Parker said hell be OK to play after packing the next two off days with treatment, but the Spurs might need him to be spectacular again to win a fifth championship. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said health wasnt Parkers problem. "Miami did a great job on him," Popovich said. "They doubled. They got it out of his hands and other people had to play." Parker shot 7 of 16 and reached the foul line just three times. It was a sudden disappearing act after scoring or assisting on 12 of San Antonios first 16 field goals. Despite the lingering problems from his hamstring, Parker didnt make it obvious. He played 31 minutes and well into the fourth quarter before the Spurs emptied their bench as the Heat pulled away. Parker was hurt in the second half of Game 3, and an MRI taken Wednesday revealed a Grade 1 strain. Thats the mildest level, but Parker wouldnt commit to playing Thursday night until the morning shootaround. The way he started the game, it appeared all the concern about his hamstring was silly. He shot 58 per cent in the first half, and had already outscored his listless performances in Games 2 and 3. Miami stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had rebounded, too, making this series a thrilling matchup of dueling superstars again. But while James and Wade kept bulldozing the Spurs in the second half, Parker couldnt keep up. "They are doing the same thing on me since the beginning," Parker said of the Heat. "Very aggressive on pick-and-rolls, stuff like that. I missed easy shots, and hopefully Ill get more healthy and better by Sunday." Parker didnt have his supporting cast in the backcourt to bail him out this time, either. Danny Green and Gary Neal, who lit up the Heat in a Game 3 blowout, combined for 23 points -- less than half their output the last time out. One big reason: Miami didnt let the Spurs have their way from 3-point range again. Whereas Neal and Green combined to make 13 of San Antonios Finals-record 16 shots from behind the arc in Game 3, the Spurs totalled only 16 tries from long range as an encore. That was half the number of 3s that San Antonio launched Tuesday night. Green said he expected the Heat to chase them more aggressively off the 3-point line this time. Spurs forward Tim Duncan also gave the Heat credit -- for doing as much to limit Parker as his injury. "Hes played with injuries all year long, minor injuries all year long, and I had no doubt that he would be there and be ready to play," Duncan said. "And he played well. As I said, give credit to Miami in the second half." Authentic Cheap NFL Jerseys . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. Cheap Jerseys USA . "Were just throwing s--- at the wall hoping something sticks," said Tortorella about the possible line combinations for Fridays game against Columbus. The Canucks have lost five straight games and six of their last seven, leaving them in a logjam in the Pacific Division, currently sitting fifth - good for ninth in the Western Conference. . Brad Jacobs and his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., team took control of the game early. Wholesale Jerseys China . -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson asked his players a simple question during Fridays morning shootaround: How many of them had ever been on a team 14 games over . Cheap Jerseys Authentic . Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought taking him out before the fifth inning was an unusual move. "Im looking up at the board and hes got two hits given up and one run, and Im taking him out after the fourth inning," Roenicke said. MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins may have a closer controversy brewing ... or maybe it is just a good problem to have.The Marlins, fresh off a road sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, open a three-game series against the 2015 World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals, on Tuesday.Kansas City (64-60) is even hotter than Miami, having won eight consecutive games -- the majors longest active streak. Miami (65-59) has won three in a row. Still, neither team would be in the playoffs as the race currently stands.The Marlins have been coping with a power void caused by injuries to right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and first baseman Justin Bour, who have combined to hit 40 homers in 171 games this season.It is dubious whether either slugger will return this year.In the meantime, both of Miamis left-handed starting pitchers -- Adam Conley and Wei-Yin Chen -- are on the disabled list.The bullpen issue surfaced Sunday, when All-Star closer A.J. Ramos returned from the disabled list -- but not in his former role.Fernando Rodney, who also made the All-Star Game this year on the strength of his work with the San Diego Padres, closed all three games in the Pirates series.Ramos pitched the eighth inning Sunday, which left Marlins manager Don Mattingly to do some explaining.A.J. and I have talked, Mattingly said. Were going to do what is best for the team.The Marlins, trying to chase down the St. Louis Cardinals for the second and final NL wild-card berth, are just hoping that either Rodney or Ramos is in position to save Tuesdays game.Miami will send right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-9, 4.92 ERA) to the mound for the series opener. Since being acquired from the Paadres on July 31 in a package that included Miamis top hitting prospect, Josh Naylor, being sent to San Diego, Cashner has gone 0-2 with a 5.dddddddddddd8 ERA in four starts.His numbers are even worse in his past three starts: a 7.04 ERA. Cashner also has nine walks and just six strikeouts in his past two starts.To get his first win with the Marlins, Cashner will have to cool off a red-hot Kansas City team and defeat right-hander Yordano Ventura (8-9, 4.46 ERA). The Royals have won each of Venturas past four starts, and he has a 2.52 ERA during that span.Royals left-hander Danny Duffy expects another quality outing from Ventura.Our rotation has been unbelievable, Duffy said Sunday. Our bullpen is back, doing what were known to do. The teams been doing great. We just have to keep that up.Indeed, Kansas City has won five straight series and 13 out of 15 games. And after the series at Marlins Park, 20 of the Royals final 35 games are at home.Other story lines to watch:--Marlins executive Michael Hill said Chen (left elbow) may not be back until late September. Hill said Conley (left hand) could be back sooner.--The Marlins are rotating three players at first base -- Derek Dietrich, Xavier Scruggs and Chris Johnson. The team is also reportedly looking to make a trade to acquire outfielder Jeff Francoeur from the Atlanta Braves. 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