<
>

Wade, Heat pounce on Spurs after Parker leaves game with ankle sprain

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker's encore to 55 was two to four.

That's how many weeks San Antonio is preparing to be without the NBA's leading scorer after he sprained his left ankle early in a 99-83 loss to Miami on Friday night.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the ankle is "pretty swollen." Tim Duncan found solace that it wasn't worse. Dwyane Wade, who had 33 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, pitied that "another great player" went down.

The question looming is how the Spurs -- at 1-4 off to their worst start in more than a decade -- will find a way to rebound.

"I don't know what it is," said Duncan, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds but sat most of the fourth quarter. "I don't know what to say."

Duncan's never been on a Spurs team that's started this bad. That's because the last time was a 1-5 start to 1996 -- a season that ended so badly for San Antonio, the Spurs got the No. 1 pick and drafted Duncan the next summer.

Age was the biggest criticism of the Spurs entering the season. Now it's injuries.

X-rays were negative on Parker, who Popovich said will probably be out two to four weeks. Parker, who scored a career-high 55 points in a win over Minnesota on Wednesday, was expected to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Parker was diagnosed with a moderate lateral ankle sprain, said Dr. Paul Saenz, a team physician. Duncan said Parker walked out on crutches limping.

Parker's loss leaves the Spurs only with only one of their "Big Three" -- Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who've led the Spurs to three NBA titles since 2003. Ginobili is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and isn't expected to be back until December at the earliest.

Lost in the uncertainty of Parker's future was a season-best performance from Wade, who fell one assist shy of a triple-double.

Wade made 14 of 25 shots in leading Miami to its first win in San Antonio since 1996 and the Heat's first road win of the season.

But even Wade acknowledged that Miami -- who led by as much as 24 points -- were facing a much different team after Parker went down.

"No question it impacted the game big time," Wade said. "He's a guy that can turn it up at any moment and put pressure on the defense and make it hard on you."

Rookie Michael Beasley added 20 points for Miami and briefly left the game with what the Heat described as a left shin contusion. He later returned to the bench, and the team said X-rays were negative.

Roger Mason scored 18 points and Ime Udoka had 14 off the bench in trying to rally the Spurs with Parker out. But the closest San Antonio got was nine points with less than two minute left.

Parker's follow-up to his brilliant game against the Timberwolves didn't last 10 minutes. He rolled his left ankle with 2:06 left in the first quarter on a drive to the basket, missing the shot before crouching and wincing over on the baseline.

Parker got up, limped a few steps behind the basket and then gently bent down again. The Spurs said X-rays on Parker were negative.

"The NBA is a challenge," Popovich said. "Even when players are healthy, it's a challenge."

It's certainly been a challenge without Ginobili. With him out, the Spurs have leaned almost exclusively on Parker and Duncan for offense.

The duo has been responsible for 59 percent of San Antonio's scoring entering Friday's game, and had taken 55 percent of the team's shots. Parker was 2-of-5 from the field and scored four points before leaving the game.

He entered Friday leading the league in scoring at 33.3 points a game.

Udonis Haslem and Chris Quinn scored 15 points for Miami.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said even without Parker, "they're still the Spurs." He lauded his players for keeping San Antonio at bay even as the Spurs fought back late.

"We knew they were going to make their run," Spoelstra said. "We showed the maturity to take their hit and throw the punch back."

Game notes
Miami committed just eight turnovers and thrived at the foul line, making 20 of 22 free throws. ... In the season before the Spurs drafted Duncan, San Antonio started 1-5. When the team slummed to 3-15, then-general manager Popovich fired coach Bob Hill and replaced him on the bench.