Parker's season-ending injury - suspected when he needed to be carried off the floor on Wednesday night, confirmed by the Spurs on Thursday - will have enormous on-court effect, since it means for the first time since 2001 San Antonio will go into a playoff game without the four-time National Basketball Association champion guard in uniform.
Rockets players, referring to Popovich and the Spurs as a "machine", said they didn't think much would change with Parker out.
Parker, 34, had played in 221 career postseason games without missing one in 16 seasons with the Spurs.
Team-mate Manu Ginobili said on Wednesday Parker had been unable to place any weight on his injured left leg.
Several reports said Parker, 34, had undergone a scan which revealed an injury to a quadriceps tendon requiring surgery.
The Spurs were just fine without Parker when he went down on Wednesday, cruising to a 121-96 victory over the Houston Rockets, tying the second round series at a game apiece. This is freaky, not just because we didn't expect it, but because the regular season couldn't have played out any differently than this. The Rockets won Game 1 by 27; the Spurs won Game 2 by 25. He grabbed his left knee immediately upon landing and remained on the court for a few minutes.
Parker had an MRI exam Thursday morning to determine the extent of the injury. Fans shouldn't be surprised if Dejounte Murray, a rookie, sees a start as a back up point guard.
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Game 5 becomes nearly must-win for Houston - go down 3-1 and this series is over.
The Spurs led by six when Aldridge scored all of their points in a 7-2 run to make it 85-74 with about five minutes left.
Lowry was hurt early in the second half of Toronto's loss in Cleveland on Wednesday after colliding with a teammate and taking an awkward fall. "You've just got to stay disciplined and keep your arms back and just make him beat you over the top and live with it".
Harden's 20 points in Game 1 against the Spurs were well below his average, but he still had 14 assists. He is shooting just 30 percent from the field, including 29 percent from 3-point floor. "It's painful, but I'm not going to complain about it. Get treatment and get ready to play in Game 3".
"Besides that we're going to miss having him around".