Trans. May 17 2:31 ET (May 17 2:31 ET ) MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Miami Heat have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Spurs have dominated for years with the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs are back in the Western Conference finals for the second straight season with the same style that has carried them to four NBA titles.
After the Golden State Warriors' come-from-behind Game 4 win over the San Antonio Spurs to even up their Western Conference semifinals series at 2-2, the primary narrative of the moment focused on the health, determination and near-future outlook of Stephen Curry. The 25-year-old marksman frequently looked far less than 100 percent on Sunday after suffering a left ankle sprain late in Friday's Game 3, gritting and bearing it after a pregame anti-inflammatory injection in his ankle — his third of this postseason run, by the way — to score 22 points on 7 for 15 shooting, including a 5 for 10 mark from 3-point range, to go with six rebounds, four assists and two turnovers in nearly 39 minutes.
Combine the "play through pain to lead the troops" element with the "I was motivated by Mom" angle, which was pitch-perfect for Mother's Day, and of course that was the story. But it was only part of the story, really. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili knows that, and he said so after Game 4.
"We had them where we wanted, and we blew it," he said . "It kind of hurts. We had a great opportunity.”
Sure, it's not quite as romantic as the Warriors' against-all-odds-we-find-a-way arc, but it's a pretty spot-on descriptor of a game the Spurs led by eight points with less than five minutes remaining and still lost.