Spurs Rest, Wait for NBA Finals Opponent

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday were trying to recover the day after their double-overtime thriller, while also preparing for Saturday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away, the San Antonio Spurs were taking a second straight day of rest as they waited for their NBA finals opponent.

"We're just watching the games in a business-sense to see what we would do against each team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday.

The Cavaliers-Pistons Game 5 matchup certainly gave the Spurs something to watch. LeBron James scored a playoff career-high 48 points to lead Cleveland to a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals with a 109-107 double-overtime win.

"We wish we knew who we were playing," Popovich said. "But at this point it's important for us to pay attention to both teams and not care who you play."

The Cavs have a chance to close out the series Saturday at home. If they don't, Game 7 will be Monday in Detroit.

"It was a great game," Popovich said. "A very competitive game and pretty amazing to watch LeBron do what he did."

Popovich was returning the compliment to James, who on Thursday after Cleveland's win held up the only two other teams left in the playoffs as the gold standard.

"When you look at San Antonio and you look at Detroit, that's what you want to be at a certain point in your career. They've done it year after year after year after year after year after year," James said.

The Spurs became the Western Conference champions on Wednesday by beating the Utah Jazz in Game 5. The week of rest they are getting before the finals open in San Antonio on Thursday could do them good.

Whenever 36-year-old Robert Horry, a 15-year veteran with six championship rings, is asked about the value of days off, he often points out jokingly, as if no one else ever notes it, that the Spurs are the "oldest team in the league. I like to throw that out there now and then."

Starter Bruce Bowen turns 36 on June 14 and Michael Finley, who started 16 games during the regular season and all 16 of the Spurs' playoff games, is 34. It's the 12-year veteran's first trip to the finals.

"It's great to see guys in the finals that haven't been there before," Popovich said. "Obviously we've got a few of those guys but Fin is the one who's been working longest at it so it's a real thrill to have him there. To try to complete it and get the ring for him would be a great thrill for all of us."

The Spurs, who are going for their fourth championship in nine seasons after winning it all in 1999, 2003 and 2005, were expected to start up practice again over the weekend.

Popovich said that to be able to keep up the pace when the finals start, some of those practices will have to be tough.

"A couple of times during this layoff we'll have to do it," Popovich said. "And cross our fingers that nobody gets hurt. But we've got to stay in shape and part of that is the knocking and the hitting and getting in the flow and keeping the rhythm."