Gregg Popovich: Tony Parker to play

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker plans to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The San Antonio Spurs open their rematch with the Miami Heat on Thursday, and their star point guard is nursing a balky left ankle.

''He's getting better every day, and I expect him to play,'' coach Gregg Popovich said Tuesday.

Parker aggravated the injury Saturday, missing the second half of San Antonio's series-clinching victory over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals.

Parker didn't practice Tuesday, but said he expects to be back Wednesday.

Parker is averaging a team-leading 17.2 points and 4.9 assists this postseason but has been bothered by injuries the past two rounds.

''I always try to be honest with Pop,'' Parker said. ''He knows, but if I'm 50 percent I'll try to play. If I'm under 50 percent, we can argue.''

Parker conceded the ankle has bothered him since San Antonio's second-round series against Portland, although he did not divulge it at the time.

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Parker Expected To Play Game 1
Parker Expected To Play Game 1
Ari Temkin discusses the report that Tony Parker is expected to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Heat, and examines how the Spurs are approaching a rematch vs. Miami.
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