The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

June 11, 2013

Satisfied but shaken, Spurs bring NBA Finals home

— SAN ANTONIO (AP) — 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.

The finals were once as much a part of June as the heat in this city deep in the heart of Texas. San Antonio won four titles in a nine-year span starting in 1999, but hasn't hosted a game in the NBA's championship round since the Spurs took a 2-0 lead over LeBron James and Cleveland in 2007.

Here comes James again, needing to win one here — which hasn't been easy for Miami — and not concerned that the finals' 2-3-2 format now gives the advantage to the Spurs.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "Two best teams in the NBA at this point. Both teams have won and can win on each other's floor. So it's not a biggie."

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