Viejo? Of course not. At the tender age of 38, Argentine Pablo Prigioni was a key factor in the Houston Rocket’s 113-110 victory over the LA Clippers.
Prigioni celebrated his birthday with four points, four assists, three steals and a 3 pointer in the 20 minutes he was in the game. Prigioni’s play put a halt to the Clippers when they seemed to make a comeback, by closing the score to just a 3 point difference in the 3rd quarter. The victory puts the Houston Rockets in the East Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. It also makes them the ninth team in the NBA playoffs to win the 7th game in the series after trailing 1-3.
Prigioni, who turned 38 yesterday, has only been playing in the NBA for two seasons. Few would have imagined that the Argentine backup point guard would prove so effective –and essential – to his team’s victory over the Clippers.
“It was an absolute team effort,” stated Prigioni at the end of the game. “At some moments one teammate would do a great action and then another would do it afterwards. It was a great team win.”
Pablo Prigioni will be the third Argentine to play in a Conference Final. The other two were legendary Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto, both with the San Antonio Spurs.