NBA: Aging Spurs, injured Hornets prepare for Game 7
SAN ANTONIO ó The last thing the New Orleans Hornets wanted was to give the defending champions the whole weekend off before Game 7.
“You’re playing with fire,” coach Byron Scott said before the San Antonio Spurs beat the Hornets 99-80 Thursday night.
Too late now. It’s back to New Orleans for a winner-take-all matchup Monday night.
While the aging Spurs can certainly use the time off, the break might also help the banged-up Hornets.
New Orleans forward David West aggravated a back injury when the Spurs’ Robert Horry set a hard, blindside screen early in the fourth quarter.
West collapsed to the floor, face down, grabbing his back with his left arm. He hobbled off the court, helped along by people on either side, and did not return. Horry was called for an offensive foul.
Game 6 was essentially out of reach for the Hornets at that point. But whether West can recuperate by Monday may be a big factor in deciding which team advances to the Western Conference finals.
West was the key player in the Hornets’ Game 5 win that put them up 3-2.
“Took a pretty good shot in the back,” Scott said. “Maybe it’s a good thing that Game 7 is on Monday. It gives him a chance to get some rest ó get that back together. Same thing with Tyson (Chandler) and his foot.”
Chandler bruised his left foot in Game 5, but scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting in Game 6. He also had six rebounds and blocked two shots.