Tony Parker leads Spurs to NBA finals again after sweeping Grizzlies

NBA Basketball

San Antonio Spurs 93-86 Memphis Grizzlies

Spurs win series 4-0

The San Antonio Spurs are returning to the NBA finals for the fifth time. All previous visits have resulted in NBA titles.

The Spurs earned their place by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 93-86 to complete a comprehensive Western finals sweep. Tony Parker led the charge with 37 points and 6 assists. Around him is a team that have been here many times before: Tim Duncan was even there when the Spurs first won the NBA championship in 1999 and every time since. Parker and Manu Ginóbili were there in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Coach Gregg Popovich has been there for every one too.

The Spurs veterans now have a long rest until the finals on June 6, where they will face the winners of the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.

"A week off is going to be nice," said Frenchman Parker, who hit 15-of-21 shots from the field.

The Grizzlies clung on but, as they had been throughout the series, were always behind. Maybe they were too polite: At one point Marc Gasol accidentally caught Parker with a hand in the face. But as play continued, Gasol stopped to inquire as to Parker's wellbeing when he could perhaps have been better employed getting to the other end of the court. Quincy Pondexter, one of Memphis' few successes top-scored with 22 points. But Zach Randolph again failed to break through, scoring just 13 points to conclude a miserable Western Conference finals.

ESPN's Michael Wilbon declared of San Antonio: "You can call them boring if you want. You can call them vanilla but you better call them champions." That's on the harsh side: Parker used to be married to Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria.

The Spurs are going back to the finals with a 4-0 record in previous appearances. However, it is six years since San Antonio's last appearance. Parker said he would appreciate it even more this time because of those missing years.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Steve Busfield, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 28th May 2013 05.59 Europe/London

Hunter Felt's view of the Spurs will be online at midday ET.
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