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. "Hes 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 Antonios series-clinching victory over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals. Parker didnt practice Tuesday, but said he expects to be back Wednesday. Parker is averaging a team-leading 17.2 points and 4.9 assists this post-season but has been bothered by injuries the past two rounds. "I always try to be honest with Pop," Parker said. "He knows, but if Im 50 per cent Ill try to play. If Im under 50 per cent, we can argue." Parker conceded the ankle has bothered him since San Antonios second-round series against Portland, although he did not divulge it at the time. "I dont like to talk about when Im hurt," he said. "I played on it for the whole series against Portland. Thats why I think my hamstring got hurt because I was playing on a bad ankle." Parker had tightness in his left hamstring midway through the second quarter of Game 5 against the Trail Blazers, forcing him to miss the rest of the Spurs series-clinching victory. He did not miss any of the Western Conference finals because of his hamstring. But he aggravated the ankle injury in Game 4 against Oklahoma City. "I twisted it again, but didnt say anything," Parker said. "Played on it, and then Game 6 I think my body is like, Thats enough. Its perfect timing to get five days and to get better and to be ready for Game 1." San Antonio was still able to clinch the series without Parker, holding off Oklahoma City for a 112-107 overtime victory to advance to its sixth finals appearance. Parker said he wanted to return for the second half, but was overruled by Popovich and the teams medical staff. "I wanted to play. I wanted to play," Parker said. "Pop was like, No, we never know for Game 7. So I understand where he was coming from, but it was hard to watch from the locker room. At the same time, I was very proud of my teammates. They stepped up big. It was huge for us because I think those five days (off) are big for us to prepare for the finals." Asked whether he would possibly hold Parker out if he was less than 50 per cent, Popovich smirked and alluded to the calf injury that was supposed to keep the Thunders Serge Ibaka out of the Western Conference finals -- but didnt. "Its too early -- hes either 50 per cent or out for the rest of the playoffs," Popovich said. "One of the two . I had to do it. Ill never do it again, I promise. Were done with that joke." Michael Brantley Jersey . The 20-year-old Inoue landed a series of combinations and the bout was stopped 2 minutes, 54 seconds into the sixth round. Inoue, the first Japanese boxer to claim a world title in just his sixth professional fight, improved to 6-0 with five knockouts. Jake Marisnick Astros Jersey . Martin Reway and David Griger both recorded four points with a goal and three assists each. Mario Lunter, Daniel Gachulinec and Stanislav Horansky also scored for Slovakia (1-0). Dominik Kahun had both goals for Germany (0-2), who lost its opening match to Canada 7-2 on Thursday. https://www.cheapastros.com/2583o-craig-...sey-astros.html. has left the San Jose Sharks to become the Boston Bruins director of player personnel. Roger Clemens Astros Jersey . Wade is posting a short film on his website next week, with a sneak preview scheduled to come out Wednesday. Josh James Astros Jersey . - A week after a late-game debacle on defence, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed they can finish.LONDON -- Stanislas Wawrinka keeps reaching new milestones in 2013. Having played the best tennis of his life over the past 10 months, the 28-year-old Swiss made another statement by beating David Ferrer on Friday to reach the semifinals in his first appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals. "Its certainly a dream season," the seventh-seeded Wawrinka said after rallying to beat David Ferrer 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 in his final round robin match. "I started as the world No. 17, I then reached my first quarters at the French Open, I made it to U.S. Open semis and Im now doing well at the Finals. Its magic." Wawrinka still had a nervous wait as he needed Rafael Nadal to beat Thomas Berdych in the late match in order to advance. The top-ranked Spaniard had already clinched a place in the semis but didnt falter, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to finish the group stage with a 3-0 record. The 28-year-old Wawrinka has long been known for his natural talent and formidable one-handed backhand, but has spent most of his career in the shadow of Swiss countryman Roger Federer and was beginning to be seen as a perennial underachiever. Thats changed this season, after appointing Magnus Norman as his new coach in April and working on his confidence and mental strength. The partnership immediately paid off, as Wawrinka beat Ferrer to win a tournament in Oeiras, Portugal, before reaching the final of the Madrid Masters. The Swiss defeated Richard Gasquet at the French Open then grabbed victories over Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open. "Its a lot of small things that make huge difference," Wawrinka said of Normans help. "But for sure I think this year the most important was my self-confidence on the court. Now, when I come on the court, even against (Tomas) Berdych, against Rafa (Nadal), against Ferrer today, I know that I can beat them. Thats already a big step ahead." Against Ferrer, Wawrinka hit 35 winners, including 12 aces, to clinch his second win at the elite year-end tournament. Nadal just needed to claim a set against Berdych to be guaranteed of first place in Group A and lost his grip on the match in the second set, dropping his serve twice. However, Nadal made the decisive break in the eighth game of the decider after Berdych double-faulted twice. "I wish him a good holiday and good luck for the Davis Cup," Nadal said of Berdychh, who will be playing in next weeks Davis Cup final between defending champion Czech Republic and Novak Djokovics Serbia in Belgrade.dddddddddddd "In the second set he played great, it was very difficult to stop him." Defending champion Novak Djokovic has won Group B -- meaning hell play Wawrinka in the last four -- and the winner of Saturdays match between Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer will face Nadal in the semifinals. "Its an amazing week for me," said Wawrinka, who has claimed nine victories over Top 10 players this season. "I had to win against Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, I lost a tough one against Nadal. At the ATP World Tour Finals, it was quite a good level for me. Thats the most important." After spending his whole career in the shadow of Federer, Wawrinka now has a chance to finish ahead the 17-time Grand Slam winner in the year-end rankings. "But people should not expect me to win Grand Slam titles in the coming years, its not as simple as that," Wawrinka said. "My main goal next season will be to keep the same level." Serving hard and varying his play nicely, Wawrinka had the upper hand early on against Ferrer and broke for a 4-2 lead before comfortably holding serve in the next game. But the seventh-seeded debutant made three unforced errors when serving for the set, and Ferrer then used an aggressive net game to win four consecutive games, including one that lasted 14 minutes The Spaniards excellent spell abruptly ended in the next game when Wawrinka took his serve at love to force a tiebreaker. Ferrer, the 2009 runner-up, jumped to a 4-0 lead before his opponents 29th error of the match gave him three set points. Following another long exchange from the baseline, Wawrincka missed a forehand to lose the set. Wawrinka looked frustrated but it was soon Ferrers turn to wobble, with the third-seeded Spaniard making three unforced errors including his first double-fault of the match in the third game of the second set as he dropped serve and whacked his racket against the floor in anger. This time, Wawrinka held his serve to level the match. Two unforced errors by Ferrer in the first game of the decider gave Wawrinka an early break, and the U.S. Open semifinalist hit three aces in the next game for a 2-0 lead. Wawrinka broke again for a 4-1 lead and closed out the match with a backhand after Ferrer misplayed an easy volley. ' ' '