NBA

Tony Parker's battered body emblematic of Spurs' travails vs. Clippers

Tony Parker limped away with ankle sprain and thigh bruise, and Spurs are hurting too after 107-92 Game 1 loss

Tony Parker put his backpack over his right shoulder and gingerly walked toward the San Antonio Spurs' bus late Sunday night, the left side of his body in pain from the beating it took during the team's 107-92 loss to the Clippers in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series.

Parker slowly limped down the hallway inside Staples Center, a twisted left ankle and bruised left thigh leaving him in a bad way.

His Spurs had just lost the opener of the best-of-seven Western Conference series to the more aggressive Clippers and now Parker was dealing with his injuries.

"It'll be sore tomorrow," Parker said Sunday night. "But nobody cares. Wednesday we have to come and play."

Parker injured his ankle in the first quarter and his thigh in the second quarter after he collided with Chris Paul.

The Spurs did not practice Monday and with two days off to rest, heal and get treatment, Parker said he'll lace up his sneakers and be ready for Game 2 Wednesday night at Staples Center.

"I'm OK," Parker said. "I twisted my ankle at the beginning of the game. Obviously you don't want to start a playoff series like that."

He went to the locker room to get the ankle re-taped, then returned to the game.

But it didn't get any easier for Parker, not with Paul hounding him on defense and with the Clippers' big men rotating over to help cover the Spurs' point guard.

Parker said the Clippers were "very aggressive" defending the pick-and-roll, forcing him to pass the ball.

"They did a great job," said Parker, who had just 10 points on four-for-11 shooting, and only one assist. "They did a lot of hard hedging [trapping] so I had to give the ball away, keep the ball moving. That's what Pop [Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich] wants. You have to give them a lot of credit. They wanted to make sure I don't have the ball in my hands and I try to give it up as soon as I can.

"But we just didn't make shots. We had the shots. I'll be willing to trust my teammates if they are going to do that strategy. Once we make shots, then maybe [the ball] will come back to me. But right now, that was their strategy."

For the six-time All-Star, it's been a season when injuries took their toll. Parker missed 14 regular-season games to recover from various ailments, including a hamstring strain and stiffness in his lower back.

"For me personally, it has definitely been up and down, a lot of injuries," the 32-year-old Parker said. "And to start by twisting my ankle, it's like, 'Come on.' I couldn't believe it. I had to re-tape it.

"But hey, it's like that. We've been in a lot of different situations since I've been with the Spurs. We just have to stay together and keep pushing and try to come back. It's just another great challenge for us."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
77°