Pistons to face Spurs

Associated Press

Miami, June 7:

The past two champions will meet in the NBA Finals starting on Thursday. The defending champion Detroit Pistons beat the Miami Heat 88-82 on Monday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, advancing to face the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio, which won the title in 1999 and 2003, has been resting and practicing since eliminating the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on June 1. Game 1 is in San Antonio on Thursday and Game 2 is on Sunday before the series shifts to suburban Detroit for Games 3 and 4, and if necessary, 5. The best-of-seven series would wrap up back in San Antonio with two more games. The Pistons and Spurs split their season series, each winning at home. San Antonio beat Detroit 80-77 on December 3, behind Tony Parker’s 20 points and Tim Duncan’s 18 points and 18 rebounds. When they met on March 20, some billed the game as an NBA Finals preview, but both teams played the angle down because they said too many things could happen over the next three months. Detroit won 110-101.