Tony Parker guides San Antonio to Western Conference title, NBA Finals

MEMPHIS (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — All-Star point guard Tony Parker scored 37 points and dished out six assists and the San Antonio Spurs swept the Memphis Grizzlies 4-0 with a 93-86 win on Monday night to win their fifth Western Conference title.

Leading 3-0 heading into Monday’s Game 4, the Spurs, a four-time NBA champion, were determined to close out the series on the road as they seek more time to recover from travels and nagging injuries.

“It’s a great feeling,” said a delighted Parker as he held the Western Conference trophy.

Tim Duncan, who finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, wanted another trip to the final after missing out so many times when they were big favorites.

“We want to get back there,” Duncan said about making the finals. “We’ve had some really close years where we fell right on the verge of getting back.

“It feels like forever since we’ve been there.”

Defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder last year was hurtful to stand and Parker revealed that he promised his good pal Duncan that he would get him back into the championship game.

“Since last year, I promised to him (Tim Duncan) that we will go back, go back to the Finals and get an opportunity to win the whole thing and I’m trying to do my best, try to be aggressive every night,” Parker said.

“I think everybody on the team, we really want to do it for him. We win the West and now it’s one more step. This is the hardest one.”

Quincy Pondexter paced the Memphis Grizzlies with 22 points, while Marc Gasol was held to just 14 points and five rebounds and Zach Randolph ended with 13 points and eight boards.

“We just never could gain control of the paint,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “They controlled the paint.”

Hollins also praised Parker for his outstanding performances throughout the series.

“He was outstanding the whole series, and he controlled the series with his penetration,” Hollins said.

“He made shots, made plays. One game he has 18 assists, today he has 37 points.

“He was huge. But their team played well. You’ve got to give them credit.”

The San Antonio Spurs are the first team to sweep the Western Conference finals since Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers did so in 2001.

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