Archive for June 11th, 2013

Heat at Spurs NBA Finals Game 3 tonight

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili sat in mostly stunned silence, all that playoff experience not preparing them for how they felt after two games.

They were satisfied, yet shaken.

The San Antonio Spurs had taken home-court advantage away from the Miami Heat, but then the reigning champions took them apart.

So as they prepared to bring the NBA Finals back home for the first time in seven years, the veterans struggled with how they were supposed to sum up their situation.

Getting one in South Florida was an accomplishment, but nothing that provided them any momentum after the Heat’s 103-84 victory Sunday in Game 2.

”Not after tonight. I think they regained that,” Duncan said. ”Obviously we were glad to win a game here in Game 1. Our goal was to get two. But they got the one tonight. We get to go back home. We got a game here. We have three at home, so we’re excited about that. But if we play like we did tonight, that’s not going to matter.”

The teams took Monday off, with the series resuming Tuesday night. The Spurs will also host Game 4 on Thursday and Game 5 on Sunday.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Larry Bird

Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who discussed the Kings’ general manager vacancy with new owner Vivek Ranadive and was said to be at least mildly intrigued, told team officials he is no longer interested.

Bird sat out the 2012-13 season and is considering a return to the Indiana Pacers – where he has an open invitation to resume his role as the team’s top basketball executive – or to extend his sabbatical for personal and health reasons.

Bird, 56, was the highest-profile candidate on Ranadive’s wish list. Ranadive is continuing to speak with a number of people about the team’s most important front-office position. He has already interviewed Chris Wallace, Travis Schlenk, David Morway, Mike Dunleavy and Chris Mullin, among others.

Reported by Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee

Consolidating their control of the Sacramento Kings, new majority owner Vivek Ranadive and his partners on Monday secured a bankruptcy judge’s approval to buy another 7 percent share of the team.

The judge turned aside a last-minute purchase offer from former limited partner Bob Cook, who lost the 7 percent share when his real estate empire crumbled. The stake has been under the control of a court-appointed trustee since shortly after Cook went bankrupt in 2011.

Buying Cook’s share will increase the Ranadive group’s ownership stake to 72 percent. NBA Commissioner David Stern’s office has already approved the latest deal, said NBA lawyer Martin Zohn, and the purchase could close Wednesday.

Ranadive is buying the share for $15.1 million – the same amount Seattle investor Chris Hansen was planning to pay.

Reported by Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee

The 76ers are considering talking to Denver assistant Melvin Hunt about their coaching job, but they might have to fend off the Nuggets.

Denver is believed to be interested in promoting Hunt to replace George Karl, who was fired last week, league sources said Monday.

“The Sixers have not formally made contact to begin the process, but there has been some talk through the back channels,” a source said.

The Sixers have not sought permission from the Nuggets to speak with Hunt, according to the source.

Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Tim Duncan

On a day of rest at the NBA Finals, Tim Duncan had work to do.

Not only was he admittedly awful in Game 2, he had never been so bad on this stage. He shot 3 for 13 from the field for nine points, posting finals career lows in scoring, field goal percentage and field goals made, according to STATS.

The three-time finals MVP made only 11 of 32 shots in Miami and knows he must be better if the San Antonio Spurs are going to win their fifth title in five finals appearances.

”Obviously, they’re contested shots, but they’re the shots I feel I can make,” Duncan said after the Heat’s 103-84 victory Sunday. ”So whether it be them or me or whatever it may be, I’m going to get back in the gym tomorrow and hopefully come out with a better stroke,” he said. ”But I’m getting the shots I want. I just have to knock them down.”

The teams took Monday off, with the series resuming Tuesday night. The Spurs also will host Game 4 on Thursday and Game 5 on Sunday.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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