Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Spurs rout LeBron James, Heat in NBA Finals

SAN ANTONIO — From big 3s to Big Three, the Spurs had it all in the NBA Finals' raucous return to San Antonio.

Danny Green made seven of the Spurs' Finals-record 16 3-pointers, Tim Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Spurs clobbered the Heat 113-77 on Tuesday night to take 2-1 lead.

Green scored 27 and Gary Neal made six 3-pointers while scoring 24 as San Antonio went 16 of 32 from behind the arc, rolling to the third-biggest victory in Finals history. Three teams had made 14 3s in a Finals game.

The Spurs' combination of fresh faces and old reliables dominated the NBA's winningest team before an eager crowd that hadn't seen the Finals here since 2007. San Antonio shut down LeBron James until it had built a huge lead late in the third quarter.

James finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He missed 11 of his first 13 shots against the defense of Kawhi Leonard, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

For the Finals, James is shooting 38.9 percent and averaging 16.7 points.

"We got what we deserved," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I didn't even recognize the team that was out there tonight."

The Spurs relied on unsung players: Neal, who went undrafted after playing for LaSalle and Towson, then playing overseas for three seasons in Italy, Spain and Turkey; Green, who had been cut multiple times; and Leonard, a draft-night trade acquisition from San Diego State who played the NBA's four-time MVP to a stalemate.

Former Gator Mike Miller made all five 3-pointers and scored 15 for the Heat.

A brief flurry by James had Miami within 15 after three quarters, but Neal, Green and Leonard combined on a 13-0 run to open the fourth, Green's 3-pointer making it 91-63.

"All of my teammates and (coach Gregg Popovich). They do a great job of encouraging me. They continue to tell me to shoot the ball. They continue to tell me whenever I'm open, to let it fly," Green said.

During a timeout in the second quarter, Popovich barked: "Feel confident, let 'em fly, get your name in the paper."

James made his final four shots of the third as the Heat got within 13 before Ginobili fired a pass to Tiago Splitter under the basket for a score, making it 78-63 and setting the stage for the big fourth-quarter finish.

"We want to make them take tough shots. They missed a couple. Obviously it worked this game, but next game we know they'll come out differently," Green said. "We're not comfortable at any point defensively. We have to continue to be active, be aggressive, get our hands on loose balls."

RATINGS DOWN: The Finals' TV viewership for Game 2 was down 13 percent from last year. Miami's 103-84 win over the Spurs on Sunday on ABC was watched by 14.6 million, down from 16.7 million for Heat-Thunder a year ago.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Nets plan to meet with Brian Shaw today about their coaching opening, and reportedly will choose between the Pacers assistant and Jason Kidd, their former star point guard who interviewed Monday. … The Bobcats reportedly have agreed with Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing to become associate head coach. Ewing, 50, was a teammate of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan on the 1992 USA Olympic "Dream Team." He spent five years as an assistant coach with the Magic working alongside Steve Clifford, who was hired as Charlotte head coach last month. … Bond was set at $250,000 for former NBA player Mookie Blaylock, who is accused in a fatal suburban Atlanta car crash. A judge said the bond was based on past DUI arrests dating to 1996.

Spurs 113, Heat 77

MIAMI (77): James 7-21 0-0 15, Haslem 0-2 0-0 0, Bosh 4-10 4-6 12, Chalmers 0-5 0-0 0, Wade 7-15 2-2 16, Miller 5-5 0-0 15, Andersen 1-1 0-0 2, Cole 3-8 1-2 8, Allen 2-2 0-0 4, Battier 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 1-2 0-0 3, Anthony 1-1 0-0 2, Lewis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-76 7-10 77.

SAN ANTONIO (113): Leonard 6-10 0-0 14, Duncan 5-11 2-4 12, Splitter 3-7 2-2 8, Parker 2-5 1-3 6, Green 9-15 2-2 27, Ginobili 3-7 1-2 7, Bonner 0-3 2-2 2, Joseph 1-4 0-1 2, Neal 9-17 0-0 24, McGrady 0-2 0-0 0, Mills 1-2 0-0 2, Blair 4-5 1-3 9. Totals 43-88 11-19 113.

Miami 20 24 19 14— 77

San Antonio 24 26 28 35— 113

3-Point GoalsMiami 8-18 (Miller 5-5, Jones 1-2, Cole 1-2, James 1-5, Bosh 0-1, Chalmers 0-1, Battier 0-2), San Antonio 16-32 (Green 7-9, Neal 6-10, Leonard 2-3, Parker 1-1, Joseph 0-1, McGrady 0-1, Mills 0-1, Bonner 0-2, Ginobili 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMiami 40 (James 11), San Antonio 61 (Duncan 14). AssistsMiami 21 (James, Wade 5), San Antonio 29 (Parker 8). Total FoulsMiami 21, San Antonio 13. TechnicalsMiami defensive three second. A18,581 (18,797).

Finals

Spurs 2, Heat 1

TV: Ch. 28

Game 1: Spurs 92, Heat 88

Game 2: Heat 103, Spurs 84

Tuesday: Spurs 113, Heat 77

Thursday: at San Antonio, 9

Sunday: at San Antonio, 8

June 18: at Miami, 9*

June 20: at Miami, 9*

* If necessary

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