Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

Spurs beat Heat to win NBA title

SAN ANTONIO

From their low moment in the NBA Finals back to the top of the league.

The Spurs turned the Finals rematch with the Heat into no match at all.

San Antonio finished off a dominant run to its fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending Miami's two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games.

A year after their heartbreaking seven-game defeat to the Heat in the Finals, their only loss in six appearances, the Spurs won four routs to deny the Heat's quest for a third straight championship. "Hard to believe, isn't it?" Manu Ginobili said. "We played at a really high level."

Kawhi Leonard, named the Finals MVP, had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who added this title to the ones they won in 1999, 2003, '05 and '07. They nearly had another last year but couldn't hold off the Heat.

San Antonio rebounded from an early 16-point deficit by outscoring the Heat 37-13 from the start of the second quarter to midway in the third.

"They played exquisite basketball," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Spurs celebration the Heat canceled last season was on by the early second half.

LeBron James had 17 first-quarter points to help the Heat get off to a fast start. But it wasn't enough. He finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Bosh added 13 points and Dwyane Wade just 11 on 4 of 12 shooting for the Heat.

The Spurs won four titles in nine years but hadn't been back on top since 2007, making Foreigner's Feels Like the First Time an appropriate song choice after the final buzzer.

Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich have been here for all five titles, and it was the fourth for Tony Parker and Ginobili, who with Duncan are once again the reigning the Big Three. Duncan joined John Salley as the only players to win an NBA title in three decades.

"Just a great team, and we do it together," Parker said.

Duncan, who has declined to answer questions about retirement, showed more emotion than usual Sunday night.

"Just the close of a career. I know it's coming to an end," Duncan said. "Don't know if I'll ever have a chance to do this again. My kids and all we've been through, just a real emotional time."

Spurs 104, Heat 87

 

MIAMI (87): L.James 10-21 8-9 31, Lewis 1-2 0-0 3, Bosh 6-14 1-2 13, Wade 4-12 2-4 11, Allen 1-8 2-2 5, Battier 0-0 0-0 0, Andersen 0-1 0-0 0, Cole 0-2 2-2 2, Haslem 1-2 0-0 2, Beasley 4-7 1-3 9, Chalmers 2-3 4-5 8, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Douglas 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 30-75 20-27 87.

SAN ANTONIO (104): Leonard 7-10 5-6 22, Duncan 5-10 4-6 14, Diaw 2-7 0-0 5, Parker 7-18 2-2 16, Green 0-5 0-0 0, Ginobili 6-11 4-5 19, Splitter 1-1 1-2 3, Mills 6-10 0-0 17, Bonner 0-0 0-0 0, Belinelli 2-3 0-0 4, Ayres 1-1 0-0 2, Joseph 0-2 0-0 0, Baynes 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 37-78 18-23 104.

Miami 29 11 18 29— 87

San Antonio 22 25 30 27— 104

3-Point GoalsMiami 7-25 (L.James 3-9, Lewis 1-2, Wade 1-2, Douglas 1-2, Allen 1-3, Cole 0-1, Jones 0-1, Bosh 0-5), San Antonio 12-26 (Mills 5-8, Leonard 3-4, Ginobili 3-6, Diaw 1-3, Parker 0-1, Joseph 0-1, Green 0-3). Fouled OutLeonard. ReboundsMiami 53 (L.James 10), San Antonio 45 (Leonard 10). AssistsMiami 14 (L.James 5), San Antonio 25 (Diaw 6). Total FoulsMiami 23, San Antonio 21. A18,581 (18,797).

The time between

Tim Duncan became the 26th NBA player with five titles. (Among active players, only Kobe Bryant matches him.) Of those, Duncan has the second-most seasons between his first and latest titles. Those with more than 10 seasons between them:

Player Titles First Last Seasons
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 1971 1988 17
Tim Duncan 5 1999 2014 15
John Havlicek 8 1963 1976 13
Robert Horry 7 1994 2007 13
Bill Russell 11 1957 1969 12

   
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