LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The San Antonio Spurs are one win away from sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in their Western Conference 1st round NBA playoff series and they are heavy favorites to do so on Sunday night in Game 4.
When: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV Channels: TNT, Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio), Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Los Angeles)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live on TNT Over Time
San Antonio leads the series 3-0.
A banged up Lakers side will be without several key players, including Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Metta World-Peace, who all joined Kobe Bryant on the sideline because of injuries.
With Blake and Nash out, the bulk of the contribution is expected to come from Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Gasol, meanwhile, will be wearing a splint for tonight’s contest after he tore a ligament in his right middle finger during Game 3.
The star forward admits that they face an uphill task in coming back, but said the Lakers, who are 0-7 all-time in Game 4 when trailing 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, haven’t given up just yet.
“We’re wounded, (but) we’ve just got to stay positive and give ourselves a chance,” Gasol said.
“It’s been really difficult to play at this level of playoff basketball without your roster healthy, without four or five key players in your rotation … I’m proud of us because we’ve been fighting so much.”
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni says despite the injuries he thinks his team can still surprise.
“You can’t do something that everybody will talk about if everybody expects you to do it,” D’Antoni said. “Nobody expects us to do it. We’re going to show up, going to try to do it.
“Why not? We’ve got good guys, and they’ve battled since February to get us in this position. Now we’re in another big hole, and we’re going to try to dig out little by little.”
Spurs on the other hand will not allow Los Angeles to build any confidence, adding that he and some of his teammates who are carrying knocks would love to get some rest.
“I think it’s very important for us as a team to finish (Sunday),” said Parker.
“Especially with Tiago (Splitter) being hurt now, and waiting for Boris to get back — me, Manu (Ginobili), T.D., we can always use some rest.”
With Splitter out for 7-10 days with an ankle injury, San Antonio has confirmed that Aron Baynes will start at center against the Lakers.