Spurs notebook: Parker makes All-NBA team

By Jeff McDonald

As if the Tony Parker-Russell Westbrook matchup in the Western Conference finals could contain any more sizzle, both players found themselves on the All-NBA second team announced Thursday.

It was the second career All-NBA mention for Parker, who is in his 11th season with the Spurs. He was named to the third team in 2008-09.

In garnering 367 total points, including 41 first-team votes, Parker out-polled every NBA guard other than the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and L.A. Clippers’ Chris Paul.

That includes Westbrook, the 23-year-old Oklahoma City point man who earned 239 points and five first-team votes en route to his third straight second-team selection.

Parker, 30, averaged 18.3 points and a career-best 7.7 assists during the regular season. Westbrook, in his fourth season with the Thunder, averaged 23.6 points, fifth-best in the NBA, to go with 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds.

The All-NBA teams were assembled by a panel of 120 media members.

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant was named to the first team, garnering more votes than every player except Miami’s LeBron James.

Thunder, meet Manu: Game 1 of the Western Conference finals will mark the first time Manu Ginobili has faced Oklahoma City this season.

The oft-injured Spurs guard missed the first two meetings, Jan. 8 and Feb. 4, with a fractured left hand. Ginobili was inactive for the March 16 game for rest reasons.

The Spurs went 2-1 against the Thunder without him.

Ginobili believes his lack of court time against Oklahoma City could make a difference early in the series.

“You don’t get a feel for how they guard you or what they do on pick-and-rolls and stuff,” Ginobili said. “The first game will be very important for me to understand what is going on.”

Thunder Alley on hold: The outdoor Thunder game-watching party traditionally held outside Chesapeake Energy Arena for each playoff game, in an area known colloquially as “Thunder Alley,” has been shuttered by Oklahoma City officials in the wake of a shooting earlier this week.

The violence, which left eight people injured, occurred not far from the arena late Monday night after the Thunder eliminated the L.A. Lakers in the second round.

Pregame festivities outside the arena will be allowed to continue, but must end when the game starts. The game will no longer be projected on a big screen attached to the side of the arena.

“It’s crazy how many people were outside, and how many people come and support,” Westbrook said. “So I think they’ll be a little disappointed. So hopefully they don’t cut it off.”

Other Oklahoma City players echoed Westbrook’s hope the city would eventually reinstate Thunder Alley.

“It’s something amazing; I’ve never seen it in my life,” forward Serge Ibaka said. “When we were playing in the arena, I saw the big crowd on the (Jumbotron). I said, ‘Wow.’ That was crazy amazing.”


Staff writer Mike Monroe contributed to this report.

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