SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs released the results of Tony Parker’s MRI Wednesday, and it showed that the All-Star point guard has a Grade 1 strain in his right hamstring, nothing more.
The Spurs, however, haven’t said whether Parker will play in Game 4 Thursday. They likely won’t until late in the day.
Parker’s status as well as LeBron James’s sudden struggles were the primary topics of discussion on Wednesday’s off day, after San Antonio’s stunning 113-77 Game 3 win at AT&T Center Tuesday.
Parker did not practice Wednesday and was expected to undergo treatment, but his fears of a tear or extensive strain were eradicated. The question is whether conservative coach Gregg Popovich will allow him to play in the pivotal Game 4. Parker scored just 6 points in 28 minutes Tuesday, but reserve Gary Neal’s 24 points compensated for his absence.
“I’m not putting pressure on myself,” said Parker. “The whole series I have to be patient. A lot of the Miami defense focus is on me. So my teammates are taking advantage of it. And they are playing great. And hopefully they can keep it going.”
If he were to play, he clearly would be at less than 100 percent, with potentially a week left in the series.
“They said it’s Grade 1, and that’s the lowest level of injury, I guess, for the hamstring from what they tell me,” Popovich said. “But I want to wait until tomorrow before I make a decision whether he should play or not.
“And obviously a lot of it will have to do with Tony, and what happens to him during the day, and how I think his play will affect our team, whether good or bad.”
Parker said he will lobby to play.
“Coach Pop always prefers the rest, to avoid injury,” he said. “If it was the regular season, I would definitely have rest. I would not play.
“We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Talk with Pop. Obviously it’s the Finals, you know. I know Pop is always going to prefer we take no risk.”
The bright spot for the Heat in the Finals has been the performance of reserve guard Mike Miller, who is 10 for 11 shooting, 9 of 10 from the 3-point line. He is fifth on the team at 9.7 points per game, despite averaging less than 20 minutes.
Miller tied the Finals mark for 3-pointers without a miss with five Tuesday. The Spurs’ Danny Green was 5 for 5 in Game 2.
Two Celtics — Scott Wedman in Game 1 of the 1985 Finals and Paul Pierce in Game 2 of the 2008 Finals — converted four without a miss.
Miller, however, was hardly impressed with his own exploits, which came in the worst loss of Miami’s Big Three Era. And while Miller and Ray Allen are 15 for 19 from the 3-point line in the series, the rest of the Heat are 11 of 43, including James’s 3-for-13 clip.
The embarrassment from the 36-point loss was apparent.
“Well, you play another game,” said Allen. “You can’t let it get the best of you.
“We lost one game. It wasn’t a two-game loss because they beat us in the fashion that they did. You look at things that we didn’t do, and it’s clearly a lot of things on our behalf that we didn’t do a good job on.”Gary Washburn can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe.