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Tim Duncan calls Game 5 a ‘must-win’ for the Spurs

Jun 15, 2013, 6:31 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan shoots during practice for their NBA Finals basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — With the Finals deadlocked at two games apiece, and with the scene shifting to Miami for what will be the deciding games of the series, Tim Duncan wasn’t afraid to put Sunday’s critical Game 5 in its proper context.

“It is a must‑win,” Duncan said after practice on Saturday. “We don’t want to go back down there down a game with two games remaining at their house. It is a must‑win situation.

“Obviously if we lose this game, we’re not giving up or anything, but we want to go back up with a chance to finish there. Huge pressure if we have to go back there and try to win two.”

If the Spurs see a repeat of the Heat team they saw in Game 4, where Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh all came through with huge performances at the same time, it certainly won’t be easy. But Duncan knows that.

“It’s tough,” he said. “If they shoot the ball like they did last game, it’s incredibly tough. They got a lot of easy stuff in the open court, some layups, and that can really boost their confidence. Defensively we have to be really on it, really get back and get in front of them. Let them see as many bodies as possible and then continue to play the way we have and hope they don’t shoot the way they did.”

The keys for the Spurs will be limiting turnovers, which will cut down significantly on Miami’s transition opportunities. Tony Parker said it comes down to focus more than anything else.

“We have to understand that their identity is to play aggressive defense, and they gamble and they’re going to take a lot of chances with steals and blocks,” parker said. “We just have to be smarter with our decisions.”

Should the Spurs struggle to contain the Heat’s Big Three for a second straight game, they’ll be faced with the incredibly difficult task of heading to Miami needing to win two on the road in order to win the title — which is the reason that Parker had no trouble echoing what Duncan had to say.

“I agree it’s a must‑win,” Parker said. “That’s why you play basketball, to live those moments. It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s a big game. We have to win. Simple as that.”

  1. worldbfree4me - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Duhhh, lose game 5 and it’s over period! My money still has Miami winning in 6!!

  2. jbeagles23 - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    This one is going to be close

  3. fanofevilempire - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    winner takes the series!

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I’ve posted on other articles here and on other sites that I had the Heat taking game 4.

      I have the Spurs taking game 5.

      To me, game 6 is the key to the series. Obviously if the Spurs win, it’s over.

      If the Heat win game 6, I think they take game 7 and win the series.

      To me, the Spurs have to win game 6 to end it. If the Heat go back to FL down 3 games to 2 and come out and stave off elimination by winning game 6. It will carry over into game 7 for them.

      If, the Heat do lose game 5 and and down 3 games to 2, winning game 6 will be tougher than winning game 7.

      The longer the series goes, the more difficult it becomes for the Spurs, who are tiring.

      If it gets to a game 7 down there, the Heat will win it…

      I’m for the Spurs by the way…

  4. dolphindubs - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    (sniff, sniff)…..(sniff, sniff)….. Do I smell a big-time game approaching?

  5. px2c - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    This is gonna go to game 7 & afterward the guys are gonna go to PX2C dotNET to unwind online

  6. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Lebron will drop 50 each game if he has to..miami will not lose the finals..

    Even if the spurs take game 5, stern will make sure the refs get Miami the title

  7. sportsnut101 - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Spurs won’t win Parker hurt

    when pop took Parker last game in 1st qtr when they were up 10. I felt that cost them the game If u up ten on heat u keep pushing down on their neck. Cuz they can score in bunches quickly

    I know Parker hurt n need to watch him but he is key to series

    Where is Manu. Man he looks awful I hope spurs don’t resign him unless it’s min deal. He can’t handle anymore he makes dumb turnovers mr flopper has been flopped

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