Spurs' Tony Parker (quad) could miss up to eight months

Oklahoma City swingman Andre Roberson often was praised by his coach and teammates for playing suffocating defence on James Harden during their first-round playoff series.

In the first two games of the series, Aldridge averaged 9.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and a block, while shooting 38.1 percent.

And this isn't even about starting Murray, who wasn't very good against the Rockets in the Spurs' 103-92 win Friday night.

"I think that's one of the hardest things, and I think he's tough to guard, but".

Players other than Harden went a combined 18-of-60 from the floor and scored just 49 points, so by looking at the stats line one could think that they didn't show up, but they were just not given the opportunity.

When one aspect of his offensive game goes south, he always has another option. The spread is fluctuating between 5.5 and 6 points depending on the book, basically offering us the same odds as in the last game. The Spurs went into the half with a 43-39 lead, but the Rockets kept it close for much of the third quarter. He shot and made more free throws than anyone else in the league this season, and he hit 85 per cent.

San Antonio was up by six entering the fourth quarter and had a five-point lead with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining when Harden was given a technical foul for complaining after not getting a call.

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Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not travel to Salt Lake City in advance of today's Game 3 against the Utah Jazz and instead saw a specialist at Duke University on Friday as he remains away from the bench due to back pain. And when he is able to put defenders on their heels and dictate what comes next, there's a long night ahead.

Slow starts on offense plagued both teams early, with Leonard and Rockets' star guard James Harden scoring 10 and 13 in the first half, respectively. "It's different with each team".

There will be a counterpunch from the Rockets in Game 4, and we've all seen what they're capable of doing when they get rolling.

At times is seems like Mike D'Antoni's plan-B is to just turn plan-A up a few notches. It's the same system that helped Steve Nash win two MVP awards with the Phoenix Suns. His organization of the team is really important, understanding time and score, what's going on on the court. But with the ball in Kawhi Leonard's giant hands and a pliable roster with which Popovich can work, the Spurs have taken back home-court advantage and, perhaps, control of the series. His point guard had come under scrutiny from fans who said his best days were behind him, but Popovich marveled at how the soft-spoken Parker's leadership had "increased exponentially" in their first season together without Duncan. In Game 3, Aldridge limited the Rockets to 3-of-14 shooting (21.4 percent) as a primary defender. You just can't give him everything.

And even though the insertion of untested rookie Dejounte Murray out of Washington proved ineffective, the decision to add Gasol to the lineup since the Game 1 blowout loss continues to pay dividends.

And that the Spurs did, relying on some conventional San Antonio tactics to reshape this weird Western Conference semifinal series in which an upset would be a close game. That streak ended when Toronto beat the Cavs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the Raptors couldn't duplicate the feat this time around.

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