SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs returned to practice Saturday, well aware of LeBron James' capabilities.
"He was rather noticeable," coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Spurs are awaiting an opponent in the NBA finals - Detroit or Cleveland. James scored 48 points, including his team's final 25, to carry the Cavaliers to a 109-107 double-overtime victory in Game 5 that put Cleveland within one win of its first trip to the NBA finals.
"He's their go-to guy," Spurs forward Bruce Bowen said. "So you know at some point the go-to guy is going to do something special."
James became the first player to score 25 straight points in the postseason, an effort rivaling almost anything Michael Jordan did in the playoffs.
"It was a strong performance on his behalf, and he deserves all the credit," Bowen said. "But at the same time, isn't he supposed to do those types of things?"
After getting a rare two days off from practice, the Spurs were back in the gym.
"We want to keep our conditioning," Popovich said. "We did not scrimmage, but we did a lot of things to try to keep our timing and our conditioning."
The Spurs advanced to their third NBA finals in the past five years and fourth since 1999, eliminating Utah in five games in the Western Conference finals. The concluding 109-84 victory Wednesday came easy enough for Popovich to begin resting his Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili before the end of the third quarter.
The Spurs will go seven days without playing before the finals begin in San Antonio on Thursday. It's the same amount of time off the Spurs had when they entered the '05 finals against Detroit. That series started in San Antonio as well, and the Spurs took a 2-0 lead before winning in seven.
Given that scenario, the Spurs were happy for the rest.
"I spent some time in the pool for the first time in a year," Ginobili said. "It's kind of nice to have a couple of days off. We really enjoyed it, and I think we needed it."