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#1 22/09/14 03:03:07

krstking2
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The reigning Australian Open champ was

OKLAHOMA CITY -- When asked about the oldie-but-goodie San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant inquired about Tony Parkers age. C.J. Wilson . "Thirty-two," a reporter answered. "He is old," Durant quipped, drawing laughter. "He doesnt play like hes 32 years old." Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are even older. Duncan just turned 38 and Ginobili is approaching 37. The trio won its first NBA title together in 2003 and fought back Father Time to reach the NBA Finals last year. They will play in their seventh Western Conference finals together, starting with Game 1 Monday night in San Antonio. Durant, the leagues MVP, said theres more to San Antonios success than some mythical fountain of youth. It starts with the genius of Gregg Popovich, the leagues Coach of the Year. "Their system, they plug guys in and out," Durant said. "They always stick to their same system. They get guys who fit. And theyve got a great coach who gets those guys prepared." Even with an aging core and numerous injuries throughout the season, the Spurs finished with the leagues best record. They did it with consistency and teamwork that has continued in the playoffs. San Antonio is shooting 49 per cent from the field as a team in the post-season, with no player averaging 20 points. Oklahoma City counters with dynamic individual play from a pair of 25-year-olds. Durant is averaging 31.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in the playoffs. Russell Westbrook is averaging 26.6 points, 8.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds in post-season play. Westbrook, in particular, has San Antonios attention. While Durants play has been typical, Westbrook has improved significantly as a floor general during the playoffs. "Hes an incredible talent having a great playoff run," Duncan said. "Some incredible numbers. Just an impressive athlete when you try to stay in front of him. His confidence is there." The Thunder will be without Serge Ibaka, who led the league in blocked shots. The mobile, athletic forward injured his left calf in Game 6 of the conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Clippers. "Its hard, but were going to move on," Thunder centre Kendrick Perkins said. "Were a very prideful organization and team. Were going to move on." Here are five things to watch in the series: THUNDER DOMINANCE: Oklahoma City won all four regular-season meetings with San Antonio this season, so the Spurs will take nothing for granted, even with Ibaka out. "You never get overconfident in that situation, especially against a team that we havent beat this year," Ginobili said. "We know how talented they are. They can really score in bunches. Very athletic, strong, play good defence. So, no, were not going to get overconfident for sure." IBAKAS REPLACEMENT: Oklahoma City rookie Steven Adams is the most likely to see a spike in minutes. Veteran Nick Collison will play more, too. The Thunder could go with a smaller lineup at times and play Durant as a power forward. Coach Scott Brooks still wouldnt say Sunday who would start in Ibakas place. PARKERS HAMSTRING: San Antonio was likely to have significant help on Westbrook anyway, but Parkers strained left hamstring could be a major problem against Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, two of the most athletic point guards in the league. Parker said Sunday that the hamstring was still tight, but he plans to play. Jackson said the Thunder will test Parker early. LEONARD vs. DURANT: Brooks said Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is an All-Star in the making. The Spurs feel Leonard is the best equipped player in the league to bother Durant because of his length and energy. "As good as anybody can do it," Ginobili said. "We are lucky to have him. Nobody can guard him (Durant) 1-on-1. Thats been proven -- hes the MVP -- but you can put him in some trouble, and then the team has to respond." SPURS OTHER GUYS: One thing that makes the Spurs dangerous is their depth. Though Parker, Duncan and Ginobili are the best-known players, Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills all play their roles well and are capable of being difference makers in the right situation. Oklahoma City will need to prevent the other guys from having breakout nights. Jered Weaver . Captain Munnerlyn is ready to fill those shoes. The Vikings agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the free agent cornerback on Thursday, continuing the teams aggressive pursuit of defensive help in free agency. Kevin Jepsen . Son scored in the 62nd minute, when he let fly from outside the penalty area to send the ball inside the top right corner. Three Gladbach defenders failed to close down the South Korean.Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) - World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka were a trio of opening-round winners Tuesday at Wimbledon. The second-seeded Nadal had to come from behind to beat capable Slovak Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on the famed Centre Court and corral career match win No. 700. "That means that I had a very long and successful career, so Im happy for that," Nadal said. "But the most important thing for me today more than 700 victories is a victory here in the first round." The 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal was a first-round loser here a year ago. The reigning French Open champ is now 37-7 lifetime at Wimbledon, where hes a two-time titlist and three-time runner-up. Nadals second-round opponent will be big-serving Czech Lukas Rosol, who shocked the mighty Spaniard in the second round here two years ago. "Hes a very dangerous player, very strong, very powerful shots from the baseline," Nadal said of Rosol. "I have to play very well if I want to have chances to win." The fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Federer improved to 68-8 lifetime at The Championships with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 handling of Italian Paolo Lorenzi in 1 hour, 33 minutes on the No. 1 Court at the All England Club. Federer broke Lorenzi six times, while the Italian went 0-for-5 on his break chances. Federer and Lorenzi are both 32 years old, but thats where the similarities end. For Lorenzi, the loss extended his winless career Grand Slam record to 0-13. Only one player, Juan-Antonio Marin of Costa Rica, has a worse record, with zero wins and 17 losses. The 17-time Grand Slam king Federer, who titled on grass in Halle two weeks ago, is a seven-time Wimbledon champ and former runner-up. Federers second-round opponent will be Luxembourg left-hander Gilles Muller. The fifth-seeded Wawrinka, meanwhile, avoided another first-round exit at tennis most prestigious event, as the Swiss strongman defeated Portugals Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the second round for the first time since 2011. Wawrinka fired 18 aces and dropped only seven points on his first serve in the 1-hour, 35-minute match. The reigning Australian Open champ was stunned by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round of the French Open last month and suffered opening-round Wimbledon setbacks the previous two yeaars. Mike Trout Angels Jersey. Up next for Wawrinka will be Taiwans Yen-Hsun Lu. Tenth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori, 13th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, 14th-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and 15th-seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz also advanced. Nishikori committed only nine unforced errors in a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 victory over Frances Kenny De Schepper, while Gasquet outlasted game Brit James Duckworth 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 and the two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Tsonga quickly closed out a five-set victory over Austrian Jurgen Melzer. Tsonga was up 5-4 in the deciding set when the match was suspended on Monday because of rain. He completed a 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win with a love service game on Day 2. A surprise semifinalist at the AEC last year, the 6-foot-8 Janowicz outlasted Indias Somdev Devvarman, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, on Tuesday. Grass-court-loving Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, seeded 19th, got past Japans Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (9-7). The veteran left-hander Lopez, whos a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, is now 10-1 on grass this year, including a title in Eastbourne last week and a runner-up finish at The Queens Club in London the week before. Also, 22nd-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber doused Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-4, 6-2; 24th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils got past Tunisian Malek Jaziri 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 6-4; Serb Dusan Lajovic took out a 28th-seeded Garcia- Lopez 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3; 30th-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers snuck past Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (7-9), 6-4; and Uzbekistans Denis Istomin dismissed 32nd-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Former Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt reached the round of 64 by holding off Pole Michal Przysiezny 6-2, 6-7 (14-16), 6-1, 6-4. The 33-year-old former world No. 1 Hewitt is a two-time Grand Slam winner, including a Wimbledon title in 2002. He should have his hands full with another Pole, the towering Janowicz, on Thursday. Several other men advanced, including Rosol, Muller, Lu, Polish 2013 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Lukasz Kubot, and Americans Denis Kudla, Jack Sock and Sam Querrey. Kudla beat Turkeys Marsel Ilhan 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, while Sock overcame Frances Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and Querrey came back to best fellow American Bradley Klahn 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1, 7-5. ' ' '

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