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San Antonio dominates Miami again, wins by 21, takes command of NBA Finals

Jun 12, 2014, 11:49 PM EDT

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, LeBron James AP

MIAMI — The San Antonio Spurs have taken the Miami Heat to the woodshed.

For the second game in a row the ball-moving, energized Spurs dominated a Heat team that played stagnant, uninspired basketball on their home court. The Spurs grabbed a lead in the first quarter, pulled away in the second and cruised to a 107-86 win.

San Antonio now leads the NBA Finals 3-1 and heads home with a chance to close it out Sunday night at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio took both games in Miami by a combined 30 points — they fully exorcised any demons left over from Game 6 in American Airlines Arena from last season.

“I mean they smashed us, two straight home games,” LeBron James said.

Most people — including Heat coach Erik Spoelstra — expected a lot more energy out of a Heat team that needed a win, but it was the Spurs that played like the more desperate team.

“I can honestly say I don’t think any of us were expecting this type of performance,” Spoelstra said.

“Well, I think (the Heat’s) reaction was there but we matched it,” San Antonio’s Boris Diaw said after another impressive game with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Spurs did it with the balanced, team game they have shown all season (and for several seasons). San Antonio shot 57.1 percent, and 51 percent of the Spurs shots were uncontested (according to SportVU cameras). For comparison 39 percent of the Heat shots were uncontested. Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds plus played fantastic defense against LeBron James (Leonard will be in the mix for series MVP), Tony Parker had 19 points, Patty Mills added 14 and the Spurs as a team had 25 assists on 40 baskets. They were again playing “the beautiful game.”

“I’m pleased that they performed as well as they did while we’ve been in Miami,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “And that’s about as far as it goes. Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.”

As good as their offense was, the Spurs defense was much sharper, much improved compared to Game 3. The Spurs were smart and aggressive defending the pick-and-roll, and the Heat made it easy on them with a lot of pick-and-rolls or isolations and almost no weakside movement.

LeBron did all he could — he had 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting — but he got no help. Dwyane Wade was 3-of-13 shooting, 1-of-8 inside 8 feet. Chris Bosh was 5-of-11. Heat players not named LeBron shot 27.8 percent through the first three quarters (the fourth quarter was essentially extended garbage time).

“They played great and I can honestly say I don’t think any of us expected this kind of performance…” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.  “We just couldn’t get into a rhythm on either side of the ball.”

Like the Spurs, it was the defensive end that was the bigger deal for Miami — they again played without energy, not closing out on shooters, their traps on the pick-and-roll were half-hearted and the Spurs shredded it with their passing.

Erik Spoelstra was looking for answers, so much so that he tried Toney Douglas starting in the second quarter looking anywhere for a spark.

“Our group has been through everything you possibly can be through except this circumstance, so why not?” Spoelstra said. “Why not test ourselves right now collectively?…

“All it is, is let’s get this thing back to Miami. When we’re right mentally, emotionally, collectively there is a real strong spirit to us. We feel we can win anywhere, and that’s what we’ll work on for the next two days.”

There is a lot for the Heat to work on. The Spurs have executed their game plan at a high level, the Heat have looked like a team that can’t find the switch to flip.

And now, even if they found it, it would be too late.

109 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. realfootballfan - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    I knew the Heat were in trouble early when Wade blew like 3 straight point blank layups and James missed one too. The Heat tried to go to what they are best at, turning up the defensive pressure, but that wasn’t what they needed to concentrate on in this game even though that theoretically made sense. The Spurs made the decision after game 2 to make the rest of this series a shootout and have succeeded. The Heat needed to try to match that even if that was out of their comfort zone because they had a better chance of doing it at home. I have no faith that they can do that on the road.

  2. phillysports1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Like I said , Heat fans are suffering. #gottaloveIt

    • draconian1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:05 AM

      Don’t want to see REALISTIC fans suffer – hell, it’s good to root for your team!
      Let’s see – I live in San Antonio – so, that’s nice. But – would I RATHER live in Miami (which is WONDERFUL) and be “suffering”….hmmmm….

      We are, however, seeing a very well oiled machine right now – and I think any real BB fan would just have to go “damn” when they see it. Spoelstra is not Pop, and SA is very deep and prepared this year – series will likely end Sunday.

  3. whatacrocker - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Where is the “grades” feature? Oh, right, I forgot–only on nights where LeBron gets an ‘A’. Any other night, it is conveniently “forgotten.”

  4. casualcommenter - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    Fun series to watch as a neutral fan. Not much to say on the Spurs – they were balanced and efficient on offense without any one particular guy having a crazy game. Meanwhile, their defense was well-coordinated. Just awesome to watch.

    As for the Heat, I know people are going to rip Spoelstra, but there’s only so much he can do. It’s not his fault that nobody on the Heat, not even LeBron, feels like trying to box out Kawhi Leonard for rebounds. It’s not his fault that Wade can’t score in the paint on offense or keep track of his man on defense. It’s not his fault that Bosh can’t rebound. It’s not his fault that Mike Miller isn’t available to start and space the floor like last year, or that Shane Battier aged a lot this year and can’t play effectively on either end of the floor, or that the signings of Beasley and Oden were complete busts.

    Spurs and Heat were evenly matched last year, but one team got better while the other got worse. Simple as that.

  5. spthegr8 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    With all the BIG women in San Antonio. I wonder if they will have problems finding the Fat lady.??

    • Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      Have you been to Miami? Thunder thighs and cellulite central. Too much fried food. Go to LA for skinny hot chicks bro.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:56 AM

        And the best avocados in the world. On a basketball note: give credit where credit is due: San Antonio is showing why the west is best.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:59 AM

      They import them from Philly just for occasions like this.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      Haa!!

      IJS!!!!!!!!!!

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Well played.

  6. ddogdaddy - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    It is so obvious that Miami had nothing left after the ECF with the Pacers. The pain of losing to the Heat again this year is easing day by day. I know it is childish but watching the suffering of the overmatched Heat brings me such joy. I have a feeling there are quite a few others are feeling the same way.

  7. prareedoggin - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    I type a looong post crediting the spurs and the ball movement and how my team the Heat are struggling, doesn’t post. Too lazy to retype it. Spurs are playing great, heat aren’t…. Boohoo

    • casualcommenter - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      That’s one of the reasons I’ve mostly stopped commenting here.

      Some people can post hatespeech without their comment getting filtered, but long comments just talking about basketball with no insults sometimes get filtered and end up invisible.

      No idea why that happens.

    • draconian1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:42 AM

      Yeah, but you are still here which makes you a true fan. Heat are a great team – but..yeah..SA right now – what is any team going to do? I live in SA – but, ain’t gloating – nobody expected this performance. Series isn’t over – maybe Sunday, maybe not.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:27 AM

      @ prareedoggin

      I’ve learned the hard way many times that you can’t type for too long, or it won’t post. You can’t even copy and paste it to get it to work. KH reads all the unposted post on the weekends and submits the ones that he deems appropriate. I’m almost 100% sure that’s how things go down here.

  8. money2long - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    1st, lebron leaves game becusse he gets cramps…
    2nd, lebron leaves game because he has to go to the bathroom …
    What’s next ? Lebron leaves game to change his pads ?

    • fmax0724 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      Meanwhile Lebron finishes the contest 10 of 17 for 28 points. He had no help, sooooooooo his early exit for a bathroom break DID NOT hurt his performance. If your gonna hate, hate correctly by pointing out how similar this Heat team is to LBJ Cleveland team when they faced the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

      • money2long - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:16 AM

        No you’re right. Lebron played great. And he has for a while. I shouldn’t have said that. Gotta show him respect. He definitely needs help. But heat fans should fear him thinking that. We all saw what lebron did to the last team he was on that he felt wasn’t giving him enough help.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        I thought he went to Miami because he “didn’t have the supporting cast”(or something) in Cleveland?

  9. kavika6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Actually San Antonio took both games in Miami by a combined 40 points.

  10. 32magicman - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Gentlemans sweep!?!? Hahahahaha. Did you mean weep?!

  11. savvybynature - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    Let’s not make this about the Heat or Lebron. So far what we’ve seen is transcendent TEAM basketball from the Spurs. Lebron hasn’t stood a chance, and I don’t think anyone would.
    One more to go! Go Spurs!

  12. justorion - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:25 AM

    I know a lot of fans are celebrating , but just like we all thought Miami couldn’t lose this game, because they were 13-0 after losing a game in the playoffs, the Spurs changed all that. I really want to see Spurs win but Miami are proven winners and you can’t count them out even when the odds are against them. Go Spurs! Please close this out at home on Sunday!

    • realfootballfan - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Yea, the Heat are a championship team, but they have too much working against them this time. For one, they’re dead tired. Nothing you can do to fix that. Even that Bulls team was running on fumes when they won the last title in ’98, or do people not remember how far the Pacers pushed them in the ECF and how Game 6 was going before they came back against the Jazz? Secondly, they can’t handle ball movement like this and will be what they need to address in the offseason tweaking they do. It’s the one style their defense can’t do anything to stop. Their only hope is that the Spurs get cold from the field. Maybe it could happen for one game, but for 3? Good luck with all that.

  13. cwilson6843 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    This series just might be over. Spurs are on another level right now. I’m still ridin with heat though. Hopefully they can pull off the inevitable. Hats off to the spurs

    • draconian1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:18 AM

      Awesome. Don’t see a lot of posts like yours here – you give credit but still ride with your team – and that is terrific. Would like to wish you luck, but…I live in SA…sooooo….I’ll just thank you for being a real fan. Oh, and can we have LeBron?….

    • markv00 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:50 AM

      That’s what I’m talking about! A Heat fan through good and bad showing the Spurs a lot of respect. Back your team, they’re great they just haven’t been tested this hard in the East. Four straight finals and back to back titles, not easy. Our Spurs have been locked in all season and fought through a tough West. This is great history unfolding right in front of us. Two time champs vs sustained greatness. Thanks for keeping it real, last year was a heart breaker. But right now it’s great to be a Spurs fan.

  14. billsfanaddict - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    besides the game 2 8-on-5 ref job that miami barely pulled out this has easily been arguably the most lopsided nba finals series ever

  15. kastout11 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Miami looked dumbfounded in games 3 and 4, like they couldn’t believe all the shots by SA were going in. They looked cooked last night, and there is no way this series will go back to Miami. Stick a fork in Miami, they’re done.

  16. reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Damn. Give them the trophy. They earned that S***

  17. azarkhan - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    The Spurs didn’t just dismantle the Heat, they crushed their spirit. Spoelstra, James and Wade know the series is over.

  18. kavika6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    The only way the Heat win this series is if the Spurs’ plane crashes on the way back to San Antonio.

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