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May 28, 2013

Spurs back in NBA Finals after sweep of Grizzlies

(Continued)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — "He was outstanding the whole series, and he controlled the series with his penetration," Hollins said of Parker. "He made shots, made plays. One game he has 18 assists, today he has 37 points. He was huge. But their team played well."

The Grizzlies made one last run and got within three one last time when Gasol scored on a runner in the lane with 48.7 seconds left at 89-86. But Parker finished off the win at the line.

The Spurs took control in the first quarter and answered each time the Grizzlies tried to make a run with either Popovich taking a timeout or Parker hitting another shot. Memphis got its best break of the first half when officials called a 5-second call on the Spurs inbounding the ball and Jerryd Bayless hit a 3 to pull the Grizzlies within 44-38 at halftime.

Gasol's frustration spilled over in the third quarter as he headed to the bench for a timeout when he smacked the press table with both hands. He also went to his knees when officials blew their whistles after he snagged a rebound. Gasol said he would replay this game in his head once in bed, and he sounded ready to get back to work quickly.

"They taught us a lesson how to play at this stage this far into the season, this far into the playoffs," Gasol said of the Spurs. "They taught us a lesson how to execute, how to play, how to read schemes. They taught us a lesson all around. I think we're going to be better because we played against, to me, one of the greatest teams that's been in the past 15 years."

Notes: Parker's previous best this postseason came in Game 3 when he had 32 points against Golden State in the semifinals. ... Teams are now 108-0 when leading a series 3-0. ... The Spurs now are 11-1 in closeout games since their last title in 2007. .. The Grizzlies had owner Robert Pera in the stands for only the second home game this season. ... The Spurs missed their first eight 3-pointers before Green finally hit in the third quarter.

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