SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Spurs guard Tony Parker said he will play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals after his availability was in doubt because of a mild right hamstring strain.
Parker wouldn't address his injury at practice Thursday other than answering "I'll be ready to go" to multiple questions about his health. The All-Star was hurt early in the second half of Game 3, which the Spurs won to take a 2-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the best-of-seven series.
The question now is whether Parker will show any signs of being sore or ailing against the Heat. An MRI taken Wednesday revealed a Grade 1 strain, the mildest level, but Parker had been uncertain about his status until Thursday morning.
Despite Parker getting hurt Tuesday night, the Spurs still walloped Miami 113-77.
"They're going to play a lot better," Parker said at the Spurs' morning shootaround. "They're going to come out very aggressive, very physical. It's a big game tonight. We're going to have to be ready to match that."
Parker is averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 assists in the Finals. His numbers in the series have slid since scoring 21 points in Game 1 — including a memorable bank shot in the closing seconds to seal the win — but his supporting cast in the backcourt have picked up the slack.
Spurs guard Danny Green has 56 points through the first three games — more than even Miami's LeBron James. Backup guard Gary Neal scored 24 points in the Game 2 blowout, teaming with Green to hit 13 of a Finals-record 16 3-pointers for the Spurs.
Neal said it's a "huge brick off our shoulders" that Parker was cleared to play.
"He's basically at times, especially when he's going, he's pretty much our whole offense," Neal said. "We feed off him as far as him scoring or making plays for other people to score."
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