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Spurs dominate Heat one last time, run away with Game 5 to win 2014 NBA title

Jun 15, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

SAN ANTONIO – Dominant is the word that will be used most often when people remember the 2014 NBA champions.

The Spurs put together a third straight masterful performance over the Heat to run away with a 104-87 Game 5 victory, and the only difference between this one and the way that the last two games in this series played out is that the rout took a little longer than usual.

Getting off to a fast start was Miami’s emphasis, with LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra both mentioning it specifically during their pregame remarks. “Follow my lead,” James told his teammates in the huddle before they took the floor, and he delivered with a magnificent first quarter performance that, at least for the first 12 minutes, could not be stopped.

James scored at will from inside and out, finishing with 17 points, 6 rebounds and two blocked shots — one of the spectacular variety — in helping the Heat get out to a seven-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

San Antonio, meanwhile, was getting open looks that the team was unable to knock down early, despite Miami’s much more active defensive presence. In the second, all of that would change.

The Spurs began to get stops and sped up the pace, and put together a monster of a 17-2 run that lasted four and a half minutes. By the time Ginobili threw down a dunk in traffic and drained a long fading three, San Antonio had turned a seven-point deficit into an eight-point lead.

“Why that happened is because the guys have character,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said afterward. “They play the game the way we ask them to play it. They don’t get too excited if they’re doing well, and they don’t get too down if things are going badly.  They just try to execute.”

James was 0-for-2 from the field in the first six minutes of the second, which were wasted minutes considering the Heat weren’t running the offense through him or looking to him to continue to take control.

This isn’t on James, however, as he got virtually no help from his teammates. Wade and Bosh were the only other Miami players to score during a dismal 11-point second quarter, chipping in just six and two points respectively.

And all of this happened with Tony Parker and Danny Green not hitting a single shot on a combined 11 first half tries.

San Antonio put its foot on Miami’s throat in the third, extending the lead by displaying the type of offensive brilliance that’s been evident throughout the bulk of the series. The Spurs put up 30 points in the period, with the dagger sequence coming when Tiago Splitter blocked a dunk attempt from Wade at the rim with 6:11 remaining. That was followed up with a three-pointer from Patty Mills in transition, and two more threes (one from Mills and one from Ginobili) on the next two possessions which pushed the lead to 21 points.

The fourth quarter was simply an extended coronation.

Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP, after finishing this one with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds on the heels of rock solid performances in his team’s last two wins.

“He listens and he’s a great learner and super competitive, and has a drive to be the best that’s really uncommon in our league,” Popovich said of Leonard. “He walks the walk. I mean, he is there early, he’s there late. He wants more. He wants me and the coaches to push him. So I just talked to him about not being in that deferment or that defer sort of stage. The hell with Tony, the hell with Timmy, the hell with Manu, you play the game. You are the man. You’re part of the engine that makes us go.”

“I do not call his number,” Popovich said. “Everything he did was just out of the motion and out of offense, and he’s learned it well. In the future, obviously, we’ll use him a lot more on an individual basis. But it’s not really our style, and he appreciates that.”

James did all he could for the Heat in finishing with 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but he couldn’t do it all by himself. He will remain the game’s best player in the eyes of most, but the Spurs solidified themselves as one of the all-time great teams — and the undeniable NBA champs.

“They were the much better team,” James said. “That’s what team basketball and that’s how team basketball should be played. You know, it’s selfless. Guys move, cut, pass, you’ve got a shot, you take it, but it’s all for the team and it’s never about the individual. That’s the brand of basketball, and that’s how team basketball should be played.”

190 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ebrownwareagle - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    @ProBasketballPundit

    Ahhhh No SiR! LeBron is a Great Player. KOBE Bryant Is The Greatest Since MJ Left the Game! The BEST OF THIS GENERATION!

    • antistratfordian - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:23 AM

      Boo! Thumbs down. Tim Duncan is better than Kobe Bryant. LeBron is better than both.

    • money2long - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Kobe is better but not the right time to say it while Duncan is hoisting a trophy. People are in the moment.

  2. jacobk621 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    Anti ,, you need serious professions help immediately !!! Dr Phil ,, something !!

    • antistratfordian - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:22 AM

      I need serious professions help immediately? Uh… okay?

  3. bbk1000 - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    I’m guessing 50% of Heat fans are now Spurs fans.

    If LeBron was to opt out and move to another team, 25% of the remaining fans would them defect to his new team.

    Heat fans are a joke, and they got exactly what they deserve, their heads handed to them.

    No more Heat talk for a while now….thank god.

    • alshonsmeathooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      No more Heat talk for a while now….thank god.

      actually with the opt out stuff get ready for LOTS of Heat talk

  4. sportfan2 - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    It took a great effort by the Spurs to beat a good team. Congradulations Spurs.

  5. sportfan2 - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    It took a great effort by the Spurs to beat a good team. Congratulation Spurs.

  6. iowahbr - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Spurs: Be humble in winning and when you do lose it’s because the other team was better than you were. You’ve got to like Pop in an interview.

  7. sportsfan18 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Timmy > Kobe

    Timmy 5 titles
    Kobe 5 titles (except Shaq was “The Man” for the first 3 titles)

    Timmy 3 time Finals MVP
    Kobe 2 time Finals MVP

    Timmy 2 time league MVP
    Kobe 1 time league MVP

    Timmy 14 time All Star
    Kobe 16 time All Star

    Timmy 10 time all 1st NBA team
    Kobe 11 time all 1st NBA team

    Timmy 3 2nd team all NBA
    Kobe 2 2nd team all NBA

    Timmy 1 3rd team all NBA
    Kobe 2 3rd team all NBA

    Timmy 8 1st team all defense NBA
    Kobe 9 1st team all defense NBA

    Timmy 8 2nd team all defense NBA
    Kobe 3 2nd team all defense NBA

    Timmy Career PER of 24.6 with NO season below 20.0 – not even one time
    Kobe Career PER of 23.4 with 3 seasons below 20.0 (didn’t count this yr though or it would be 4)

    Timmy win shares per 48 min’s .211
    Kobe win shares per 48 min’s .182 so Timmy is quite a bit higher

  8. markisb62 - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Of great scoring superstars, Lebron James plays more like a team player than anyone I’ve seen.

    I say he signs with the Spurs next year! Can you imagine? Not 3, not 4, not 5…..etc…

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