Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2016 Contents A40
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 15, 2016
MIAMI---The Miami Heat went
small, and came up big. With that,
another Game 7 awaits
Goran Dragic scored a postseason
career-high 30 points and Dwyane Wade
added 22 as the Heat rode a small lineup
to a 103-91 victory over the Toronto
Raptors on Friday night, tying their East-
ern Conference semifinal series 3-3.
"Last year at this time we were all
on vacation," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra
said. "So often in this business people
tend to want to search for the easy route.
There s usually not an easy way in a
seven-game series, certainly not with a
second and third seed going against each
other. This is the path ... and now we ve
pushed it to a Game 7."
It comes Sunday in Toronto. The win-
ner will head to Cleveland for Game 1
of the Eastern Conference finals on
Tuesday night. Both the Heat and the
Raptors won a Game 7 in the first round.
Kyle Lowry scored 36 points for
Toronto, on 12-for-27 shooting. DeMar
DeRozan added 23 for the Raptors, but
their teammates combined to shoot 14
of 34 from the floor and manage 32
"We came here to try to win the
game," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
"We didn t come here with a seven-
game series in mind. It s been a great
series, they re a championship-caliber
team, well-coached team, but we came
in here to try to win the game."
Joe Johnson had 13 points, Justise
Winslow added 12, and Josh McRoberts
scored 10 for the Heat.
Dragic shot 12 of 21, Wade blocked a
game-high three shots and the Heat---
despite some serious size deficiencies
with injured starting center Hassan
Whiteside still out---only lost the
rebounding battle 43-41.
"I knew (Dragic) was going to have
an amazing performance tonight," Wade
said. "You could tell he was on the brink
Neither team divulged its starting
lineup until warmups were under way.
The Heat had reason for subterfuge,
after choosing a super-small starting
five of Dragic, Wade, Johnson, Luol Deng
The results? Splendid.
The Heat used eight players---the
tallest being McRoberts, at 6-foot-10.
The average height of the others was
just under 6-6.
Deng jumped center and Winslow
got his first playoff start, three games
after sitting out Game 3 entirely. The
Heat like using the term "positionless
basketball" and Winslow epitomized it
early --- in a 60-second span, the rookie
guarded Raptors centre Bismack Biy-
ombo, brought the ball up like a point
guard and made a corner 3.
Whiteside, watching from the locker
room, was thrilled.
"The guys played really well," said
Whiteside, who will fly with the Heat
to Toronto but said he would not play
Sunday. "Goran got in the paint a lot
and made it tough on their guys and
D-Wade did D-Wade stuff."
Dragic scored 14 in the second quar-
ter, helping Miami take a 53-44 lead at
the half. The lead got to 13 in the third,
Dragic again coming up big with a
three-point play followed by a jumper.
And when Toronto got within six early
in the fourth, Dragic and Wade scored
the next six points to keep Miami in
Miami is 6-3 all-time in Game 7s,
having won four straight ultimate games
(0-1 on the road). Toronto is 1-2 in
Game 7s, 1-1 at home. (AP)
...Spurs unsure if Duncan
Ginobili will return
SAN ANTONIO---San Antonio s unex-
pected and abrupt end to the season
brings on another stressful summer
that begins with what has become an
Will Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili
"I really don t know what they re
going to do," San Antonio coach Gregg
Popovich said Friday, a day after the
Spurs season-ending loss at Oklahoma
City. "But when they do decide to move
on, sometime between now and the
next five years---that s a little bit of a
joke---it will feel a little differently walk-
ing into the gym."
Anything less than having both Dun-
can and Ginobili in uniform next season
will be even more jarring for the Spurs
than losing to the Thunder in six games
in the Western Conference semifinals.
"We ll see," said Tony Parker, the
other member of San Antonio s Big
Three. "It s going to be a long summer
The Spurs did not expect their off-
season to begin so early.
San Antonio appeared revived and
renewed after re-signing Kawhi Leonard
and adding marquee free agent LaMar-
cus Aldridge during the offseason. But
after winning the series opener by 32
points, the Spurs suddenly looked old
and thin in comparison to the Thunder s
size inside and athleticism on the wings.
Still, the Spurs hope for the return
of two of the franchise s greatest ever
Duncan, 40, and Ginobili, 38, both
have player options on the two-year
contracts they signed last summer, but
neither has given any indication what
he plans to do.
Duncan said he would "get to that
after I get out of here and figure out
life" when asked about his future fol-
lowing San Antonio s 113-99 Game 6
loss. Ginobili said he would "take my
time as always."
Duncan has played 19 seasons, leading
the Spurs to each of the franchise s five
championships. Ginobili has been a part
of four of those titles over 14 seasons.
Popovich joked one thing is certain,
the veterans won t be turning to him
"I haven t talked to Timmy in
about 11 years and Manu stopped
talking to me about three or four
years ago," Popovich said. "So, I
doubt it highly. They are just going
to come in and say, Pop, this is what
I m doing. And then whatever they
say, that s what I ll do."
Dragic, Wade lead
Heat into Game 7
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) collides with Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) as he makes a move to the
basket during the first half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals, on Friday, in
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