Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Spurs rout Heat, take 3-1 NBA Finals lead

MIAMI — Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and the Spurs dominated the Heat again in a 107-86 victory Thursday night to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Tony Parker added 19 points for the Spurs, who can win their fifth championship with a victory at home in Game 5 on Sunday.

LeBron James had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Heat, but Dwyane Wade was just 3-for-13 from the field (and 4-of-8 from the free-throw line) for 10 points as the Heat was routed at home for the second straight game.

The Heat would have to become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to win their third straight championship.

Only eight teams have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in any series in the history of the NBA.

And the last time it happened was 2006.

LeBron James scored 28 for Miami.

Trying to take a 3-1 lead back home, the Spurs shot 56 percent and led by as much as 22 points against the Heat, who looked powerless to slow San Antonio's ball movement.

Not quite as sharp as when they shot a Finals-record 75.8 percent in first half Tuesday night.

The Spurs were still plenty good enough to open another huge lead before a Miami crowd that was booing the home team in the final minutes of the second quarter.

The Spurs knew their defense had to be better, realizing their once-in-a-lifetime, 19-for-21 start in Tuesday's 111-92 rout covered the fact that they allowed Miami to make more than 50 percent in the game.

The defense was definitely improved during the first half, holding Miami to 12-of-34 shooting (35 percent).

At the end of their fourth straight season that went the distance, the Heat looked as if they might be running out of gas.

The Spurs missed their first three shots after needing 22 attempts to miss three times Tuesday.

They quickly got untracked from there, running off a 13-2 spurt to open a nine-point lead. That was the margin when they went to the second quarter ahead 26-17.

San Antonio scored the first five of the second, capped by Danny Green's 3-pointer, to make it 31-17. And the Spurs blew it open later in the quarter with seven straight points capped by Leonard's soaring follow dunk that made it 55-33.

Around the league: The Cavaliers will interview David Blatt, formerly the coach of Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv, for its coaching vacancy, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Associated Press reported. Blatt said Thursday that he's leaving the European champion to pursue a job in the NBA. He didn't disclose details. The Cavaliers also have reached out to Mark Jackson, fired by Golden State late month, espn.com reported. … Carmelo Anthony's contract gives him until June 23 to declare he will become an unrestricted free agent, espn.com reported. Otherwise, he will become an unrestricted free agent after 2014-15.

Comments
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 3:50: The most interesting deal of the day thus far is the Cardinals getting OF Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins, for a package led by prospect RHP Sandy Alcantara. This deal getting done could lead the Cardinals and Rays to get more serious in...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Early signing period, coaching vacancies made for high drama

Early signing period, coaching vacancies made for high drama

Florida State president John Thrasher lost his national championship-winning coach, Jimbo Fisher, to Texas A&M on a Friday.Thrasher spent that weekend considering possible replacements and flew across the country to woo Willie Taggart on Monday. By W...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Understandably, an anticlimactic vibe hovers over the Birmingham Bowl for many USF fans, who were hoping their season would end a bit farther east, at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.But one still can't ignore this game's historical context: It's the last ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Updated: 8 hours ago