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NBA Finals -- Spur-rific San Antonio blows out Heat in Game 3 to take 2-1 series lead


PhilBoxing.com




MIAMI - The San Antonio Spurs set the American Airlines Arena on fire Tuesday night by making 38 of their 64 field goals en route to a 111-92 demolition of the two-time defending champions Miami Heat.

The Spurs caught fire early and quickly laid the ground work for the blowout. They made 13 of their first 15 field goals, including all four of their 3s to take a commanding 41-25 lead after one quarter.

The relentless assault continued in the second quarter where the Spurs enjoyed their biggest lead -- 55-30 --- with still 8:08 to go before halftime. Miami would eventually slice the deficit to 71-50 at intermission.

Buoyed by a full house home crowd of 19,900, the Heat mounted a furious comeback in the third quarter, outscoring the Spurs 25-15 and inched to within 81-74 at the 1:39 mark. But the Spurs bumped the cushion back up to 11 entering the fourth quarter and were never seriously threatened again.

"We did nothing right. We weren't focused at all," said Heat forward Chris Bosh after Miami was beaten on all major statistical categories. The Spurs won the rebounds battle, 29-26, made more assists, 21-17, and committed 9 less than the Heat's 21 turnovers.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each had 22 for the Heat but they were hounded by a combined 12 turnovers. Rashard Lewis had another big night with 14 while Ray Allen added 11 off the bench.

Miami, which now trails the best-of-7 title series at 2-1, converted 32 of 62 field goals (51.6 percent clip). The Heat also sank 10 of 21 threes (47.6 percent) and 18 of 24 free throws (75 percent).

But the high marks weren't enough to derail the Spurs, who returned to the scene of last June's Finals heartbreak and played with might and conviction throughout Game 3's 48 minutes.

After being roundly criticized for scoring just a combined 18 points in Games 1 and 2 at the AT&T Center, Kawhi Leonard exploded for 29 to spearhead the formidable San Antonio offense.

Leonard swished 10 of 13 field goals including 3-for-6 from long distance. The 6-foot-9 small forward also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

Tony Parker and Danny Green tallied 15 apiece with Green missing just one of 8 shots. Tim Duncan registered 14 and 6 boards and Boris Diaw, starting in place of Tiago Splitter, accounted for 9 points, 5 boards and 3 dimes.

Besides a remarkable 59.4 percent clip from the field, the Spurs also nailed 9 of 20 triples and were steady at the free throw line, 26 of 32 for a decent 81.3 percent.

"It's not something you can plan for. There was no magic plays. We just moved the ball, and every shot went in," said spark plug Manu Ginobili, who pumped in 11 off the bench for San Antonio.

Game 4 of these NBA Finals resumes at the American Airlines Arena Thursday night (Friday AM in Manila).

Photo: Danny Green and the Spurs attacked the Miami Heat all night en route to a stellar 111-92 Game 3 in the 2014 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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