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"It’s not going to be pretty, sorry. It’s just not going to be," Duncan said.
The Spurs lost to the Thunder in the conference finals in six games last season after going ahead 2-0 at home. They haven’t been to the NBA Finals since 2007, when they won their fourth title with a sweep of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"I think everybody on the team, we all want to go one more time," Parker said. "It’s been a long time."
The Spurs became the first team to win consecutive games in the series and hand the sixth-seeded Warriors consecutive losses in the playoffs — and they did it at just the right time.
The Spurs quieted a standing-room-only crowd late in the third quarter and seemingly seized control for good. Instead, the Warriors roared back.
Klay Thompson, who had 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting, made a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that sliced San Antonio’s lead to three. Then Curry’s pull-up jumper brought the Warriors within 77-75 with 4:52 to play.
Parker was 1 for 13 before hitting a corner 3-pointer and Leonard followed with two free throws to put the Spurs up seven.
Jack made a jumper and two free throws to bring the Warriors back again. Then Leonard hit another shot from beyond the arc to put the Spurs ahead 85-79.
Curry and Thompson each had consecutive 3s rim out on the same possession that could’ve kept Golden State close. But Parker hit another 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 88-79 with 1:15 remaining and send some of the yellow-shirted crowd of 19,596 to the exits.
"I just kept believing in me," said Parker, who added eight assists and finished 3 for 16 from the floor. "My teammates, they were behind me. They would keep telling me, ‘Keep shooting, they’ll go in.’"
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