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Grading Tony Parker's Return

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Grading Tony Parker's Return
USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker returned to action in their 104-97 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

He came back a week ahead of schedule from the grade-two sprain he suffered in his left ankle in an otherwise forgettable Spurs win over the Sacramento Kings on Mar. 1. 

His teammates didn't exactly help his MVP campaign in his absence. With their All-Star leader sidelined for eight games, the Spurs still found the path to victory in six of them.

But no one around San Antonio was sad to see him back in action. San Antonio entered the night just 2.5 games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference's top spot. 

The Spurs could've won all eight games that he missed, and they still would have welcomed him with open arms. He knows coach Gregg Popovich's system better perhaps than "Pop" himself.

The Spurs battled through elongated stretches of inconsistencies throughout the game, but they made enough plays late to salvage a win.

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