Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2013 Contents A63
Thursday, June 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SAN ANTONIO---The San Antonio Spurs set an
NBA Finals record with 16 3-pointers in a 113-77
victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday, taking a
2-1 series lead.
Danny Green hit seven of nine 3s in his 27 points
while Gary Neal was six of 10 from deep in his 24.
Tim Duncan chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds
for the Spurs, who responded to a 19-point drubbing
in Game 2 with a blowout of their own.
Miami s four-time MVP LeBron James was held
to 15 points on 7-of-21 shooting. James also had 11
rebounds and five assists, but missed 11 of his first
14 shots and never looked comfortable against San
Antonio s swarming defense.
Duncan bounced back from his worst game ever
in the finals, and the Spurs combination of fresh
faces and old reliables dominated the NBA s regu-
lar-season leaders before an eager crowd that hadn t
seen the finals here since 2007.
"It shouldn t be a surprise," said Spurs coach Gregg
Popvich. "These are the last two teams standing. I
don t think either one of them is going to get down
if they have a bad night."
Game 4 is Thursday in San Antonio, where the
Heat have won just three of 25 games and will try
to pick themselves up after a sobering defeat.
"We got what we deserved," Heat coach Erik Spoel-
stra said. "I didn t even recognise the team that was
out there tonight."
It was a potentially pivotal victory for the Spurs
in their quest to go 5 for 5 in the finals. Since the
NBA Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, the Game
3 winner when the series was tied 1-1 has gone on
to win 12 of the 13 titles---though the Heat were the
lone one that didn t, in 2011.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 14
assists, but the bigger story was the guys who had
never played on this stage before:
---Neal, who went undrafted after playing for
unheralded colleges, then played for three seasons
in Italy, Spain and Turkey.
---Green, who had been cut multiple times---includ-
ing by James Cavaliers---and now has the shot to
---Kawhi Leonard, the draft-night trade acquisition
who played the NBA s four-time MVP James to a
Mike Miller made all five 3-pointers and scored
15 points for the Heat, who had a brief flurry in the
third quarter to get within 15 points and have a sniff
of victory with a quarter to play.
But Neal, Green and Leonard combined on a 13-
0 run to open the fourth, Green s 3-pointer making
Green said he grown in self-belief with the help
of the senior Spurs and coach Popovich.
"All of my teammates and Pop. 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.
The NBA hadn t made its way along San Antonio s
River Walk this late in the season since 2007, and
fans couldn t wait to have the Spurs back.
They were thrilled to see the Duncan they rec-
ognized from his first 24 finals appearances.
He got right on the board in this one, with a short
jumper 20 seconds into the game.
The Spurs, who had played from behind most of
the series, had a 24-20 lead after making 11 of 18
shots in the first quarter.
Duncan hit a pair of three throws and another
basket, and after a jumper by Neal, he threw a long
outlet to Leonard for a dunk that made it 40-30.
Neal s 3 made it 43-32, but Miller hit a pair of 3-
pointers in a 12-1 run that tied it at 44 with 37
seconds in the half, the Heat appearing set to go
into the half with momentum.
But Parker drilled a 3 from the corner, and after
Green blocked James shot, the Spurs rushed it up
for a 3-pointer by Neal that fell at the buzzer, the
reserve guard pointing back toward his defenders
before the Spurs headed to the locker room with a
The party played on all right, with a huge roar
when Tracy McGrady, a former perennial All-Star
now in his first finals appearance as a member of
the Spurs bench, checked in midway through the
fourth quarter. He was scoreless with three assists.
Spurs rout Heat 113-77
to take series lead
first half at
Game 3 of
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