San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker may not have been content with his own 3-of-16 shooting performance on Thursday night, but it became an afterthought once his team advanced to the Western Conference Finals after beating the Golden State Warriors 94-82 in Game 6. Parker scored 10 points in the final quarter, including two clutch 3-pointers that helped close out the Warriors on their raucous home floor.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Parker shot an abysmal 1-of-10 from the field for three points. Having to keep Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack in check defensively for six games certainly played a part in that.
“I was just tired obviously,” said Parker, who finished with 13 points and eight assists. “I think all the minutes caught up with me. It’s a tough series chasing Curry and Jack, playing all those minutes. Tonight, I just didn’t have it—it was not there, missing some easy stuff. But I just kept believing in me. My teammates, they were behind me. They kept telling me, ‘Keep shooting, it will go in, it will go in.’”
Two of Parker’s three field goals came in the fourth quarter, but those pair of shots essentially decided the game. The momentum seemed to sway in favor of the Warriors after they sliced a 13-point deficit to two with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
However, Parker gave the Spurs some breathing room with a five-point lead after knocking down a corner rainbow from beyond the arc. The Warriors got to within three with two minutes left, but after Kawhi Leonard drained a 3-point shot to bring the Spurs’ lead to six, Parker followed it up with a 3-point dagger from the opposite corner to stretch the lead to nine with only 1:15 to go—not enough time for another Warriors comeback.
Curry led all Warriors scorers with 22 points on 10-of-25 from the field and dished off six assists. The young sharpshooter tipped his hat to Parker’s playoff poise and his ability to shrug off his poor shooting performance, especially in the final quarter.
“Tonight was a microcosm of what he (Parker) is as a player,” said Curry. “He was shooting the ball terribly the whole game, but he was still making plays, drawing defenders and then hits two big shots down the stretch and it gets them over the hump. He’s a championship point guard and a future Hall of Famer so to go against him was a lot of fun. I learned a lot.”
The Spurs now look forward to a heavyweight matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies, who ended the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season in six games. That best-of-seven series will begin Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.