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Barrage of threes, strong defense leads Spurs to blowout of Heat 113-77

Jun 12, 2013, 12:43 AM EDT

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game Three Getty Images

Famed NBA coach and broadcaster Hubie Brown has a theory (that I love) — NBA role players perform better at home.

The Spurs played at home for the first time in three weeks and their role players stepped up and owned the Heat. Owned.

Gary Neal (24 points, 6-of-10 from three) and Danny Green (27 points, 7-of-9 from three) led the Spurs to an NBA Finals record 16 threes in a game. The Heat defense was less aggressive, the Spurs moved the ball to the open man then knocked down shots, and the result was a blowout 113-77 Spurs win. San Antonio won the second half 63-33.

The result is a 2-1 Spurs lead in the series with a big Game 4 Thursday night in Texas.

San Antonio has taken the Heat’s haymaker and come out more focused the next game. The Heat have done the same all playoffs and must again, but they have not taken a punch like this one.

“We got what we deserved,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra repeated many times after the game. “They played with more force, more focus, the teams that do that typically get what you deserve. They outplayed us, out classed us from the very tip.”

Actually, the first half was much closer. The Spurs led most of the way behind Neal’s 14 points and Tim Duncan getting 10 while attacking the paint. The Spurs were getting the shots they wanted, shooting 61.1 percent in the first quarter. Still, it was a 44-44 game when just before the half Tony Parker hit a leaning three from the corner and Gary Neal beat the buzzer with one, resulting in a six point halftime lead.

But it was already clear where this could be going — San Antonio was outworking the Heat all over the court. The best evidence of that was San Antonio having 19 offensive rebounds on the night — they grabbed the offensive board on 42.2 percent of their missed shots. That is all effort and desire.

Then in the second half the Spurs shooters caught fire — they shot 51.1 percent overall, 9-of-17 from three and Green had 22 of his points in the half.

The Spurs were moving the ball and making the extra pass — 29 assists — and the Heat defense was not making the extra effort.

“When we’re moving the ball like that, trusting each other to knock down shots, make plays, it makes the defense work,” Green said. “It makes them move, rotate. The more you make a defense move, the more they’re liable to make mistakes.”

While no doubt the Spurs shooters were hot, the Heat suddenly less aggressive defense helped them get that way.

“They have great shooters…” Spoelstra said. “If you’re not doing your job, and doing it early, and doing it with focus and discipline guys get open. And that’s what happened. They got all the easy ones they wanted first. And same thing with our shooters when you get easy ones the basket starts to look bigger and bigger.”

The Heat were also passive on offense. The Spurs packed the paint again and did a good job of encouraging the Heat to shoot from the midrange. So the Heat settled — Miami was 7-of-32 from the midrange. That’s 21.9 percent. Not only did the Heat settle, they missed the shots they were settling for. LeBron James was not himself and was 7-of-21 for 15 points.

“I can’t have a performance like tonight and expect to win,” LeBron said.

He wasn’t alone. Chris Bosh was 4 –of-10 and as a team the Heat shot 40.8 percent. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 16 points, the lone real bright spot for the Heat was Mike Miller going 5-of-5 from three.

San Antonio simply outworked and outplayed Miami all night long. If Miami is going to bounce back it is going to have to start with energy on the defensive end of the floor. From there, get some rebounds and make some of their open shots. Then attack the paint with the ball.

What you can be sure of on Thursday night is the Spurs will continue to be the Spurs — make a mistake, don’t make the extra effort and they will make you pay. Miami is going to have to take this one from San Antonio, because the Spurs are not going to beat themselves and hand a win over.

  1. rickyspanish - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Holy guacamole, the Spurs laid a beatdown tonight. From the tight first game to two blowouts, this series is funky fresh. I’m ready for game cuatro right now.

    • txnative61 - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      You said it! That has to be the biggest two game points turnaround in history? Any of you pundits want to swear you know how this is going to end now? Really???

  2. funktron2x - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    This series is so so epic thus far. Here’s hoping for more of same!

    • zerole00 - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      It’s a honestly a battle between brute force vs. teamwork/technique. I haven’t seen anything like this before.

  3. 2late2matter - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    I kept waiting for the Heat’s defense to show up. Do they really have one?

  4. bigwii - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Notice how when the Heat win their fans go crazy. Calling everyone haters and saying how it was a fluke how they lost. When they lose they’re no where to be found. Crickets and the few that do talk it’s all excuses.

    • rickyspanish - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      I’m a Heat fan and I’m here. There are crazy Heat fans out there but don’t paint us all with one brush homie. I saw my team win two championships the last seven years and I’m content with that. I would love to see them win more and I’ll be bummed if they don’t pull it off this year. That said, I’m enjoying this series big time.

      • gusto181 - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        ^Can you plz use a megaphone when you speak so that you can drown out the crazy Heat fans? You sound like a completely normal and rational fan. I was beginning to think they didn’t exist anymore, let alone post in the comment section. Awesome series, can’t wait for Game 4.

    • henryd3rd - Jun 12, 2013 at 6:26 AM

      I moved to South Florida five years ago and I’ve been saying for a long time that Heat fans are fair weather fans. You should hear sports radio after a Heat lost. Ugly! Talk about bandwagon fans these are the worst fans in the US.

      Can’t wait to tune in today and hear how “The Big Three” choked, how Wade is done and Bosch is weak, Coach Spolstra needs to be fired, Riley is a sorry GM and Labron is over rated.

      As a diehard Knicks fan I would love to have a team like the Heat to root for; but then again that’s another story. Can anyone out there tell me where I can get a Voodoo doll of James Dolan?

  5. wkb2texans - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    As a Spurs fan who watched his team lose 4 in a row in last year’s play offs, after winning the first 2, I won’t be doing any early celebration this time. What we’ve seen is that both teams are able to stink it up and tear it up. I won’t hazard a guess as to what is going to happen, but I know this is some exciting basketball ….

  6. kavika6 - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    Thanks Miami. The Spurs almost doubled the blowout they got the game before. Now game 2 will be forgotten and game 3 will be remembered as the biggest blowout of the series.

  7. cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    That was so beautiful, I think I’m going to pull a Bosh Spice & cry.

    • miamatt - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      What happened in the Knicks game last night? Oh, right….

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        They didn’t get humiliated by 36 points. Maybe the “King” should try to recruite 2 more all stars.

  8. 1historian - Jun 12, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    Heat can’t play that bad twice butg the Spurs had their one bad game and now they’re back.
    The Heat won’t play as bad as they did yesterday but the Spurs have got their mojo back and when that happens they win. Not spectacular but they win, Heat just can’t match up to them – no one can.

    Spurs in 5.

  9. canehouse - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Masterful… no beyond Masterful performance by the Spurs last night. As a HEAT fan for obvious reasons it was tough to watch… but it was so compelling to see near perfection. bigwii… go pound sand… worry about ur own self.

  10. gmsingh123 - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Wouldn’t Hubie Brown’s observations be better if he had two eyes that could look in the same direction?

  11. raidmagic - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Where are all the Heat fans?

    • teamobijuan - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      They are currently Spurs fans.

  12. trimaster1 - Jun 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    I’m a Heat fan but hey, sometimes you gotta give credit where it’s due! The Spurs shot LIGHTS OUT in game 3. What can you say?

    One thing I will say is I think it’s funny how people live and die after 1 game. Yes, The Spurs had a great game, but it’s only one game. If you win by 2 or lose by 30, it’s only 1 game. Great win by the Spurs, but Tony Parker’s injury will be a big factor, especially if this series drags on to 6 or 7 games.

    And because the final 2 games are in Miami and parker’s potential injury, I still think the Heat will win. I originally thought 5 games, but now i think it’ll go 7.

  13. miamatt - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Tremendous game by the Spurs, great defense and out-of-this world shooting. Congrats Spurs fans, you guys deserve that one.

    For Heat fans, there is still plenty of time to turn this series around. It needs to start with better intensity and effort on defense. Miami’s offense usually gets going as a result of its defense. And LeBron is going to have to embrace, take, and make those open jumpers they are giving him. Otherwise, San Antonio has no reason to close out on him, and I can’t see Miami’s half-court offense producing under that scenario.

  14. secularhaze - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I was saying Spurs in 6…now I’m having trouble believing the Heat can make it out of Texas haha.

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