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Spurs handle Heat, win 110-95 in NBA finals Game 1

Spurs Helped By Home-Court Advantage


BY BRIAN MAHONEY
AP BASKETBALL WRITER

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs handled the Heat, and the heat, during a sweltering start to the NBA Finals.

Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat Miami 110-95 on Thursday night in Game 1 inside a steamy AT&T Center.

With an air conditioning failure making it feel like basketball in a sauna and causing LeBron James to battle cramps that knocked him out of the game's decisive stretch, the Spurs pulled away to win the opener of the first finals rematch since 1998.

Manu Ginobili had 16 points and 11 assists, and Tony Parker added 19 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who shot 59 percent and improved to 6 for 6 in NBA Finals Game 1s.

James finished with 25 points but played only 33 minutes, and Miami was outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter.

Dwyane Wade scored 19 points and Chris Bosh had 18 for the Heat, who wilted in temperatures that soared to 90 degrees in the second half.

"It was tough on both teams," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. ... It was really hot out there."

James, who had cramping issues two years ago in the finals, had to ask for a break in the fourth quarter and was getting treatment during a 15-4 Spurs run that turned around the game.

He came back in and made a basket that cut it to two points with about 4 minutes left, but couldn't even run back on defense, promptly putting his hand up and lingering at the baseline until help arrived to take him off for good.

Danny Green followed with 3-pointer to trigger what became a 16-3 run to end the game.

"It felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping to bench like that. But we still had a chance after that," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The crowd chanted "Beat the Heat! Beat the Heat!" in the fourth quarter, which was just what the fans themselves were trying to do.

The Spurs said an electrical failure for the power that runs the air conditioning system had occurred. They apologized for the inconvenience but also seemed to poke fun of it, playing songs with "hot" in the lyrics over the sound system.

Fans were trying to cool themselves on the hot night, a reminder of what it was like in the old Boston Garden when the Celtics and Lakers got together.

The Heat are the first team since those Celtics of 1984-87 to get to four straight finals. They are well-rested after a relatively easy roll through the Eastern Conference playoffs, a key to keeping Wade healthy entering the finals.

But they couldn't do anything about James, the MVP of the series last year when the Heat rallied from five points down in the final half-minute of regulation to win Game 6 in overtime, then won a Game 7 that was close the whole way for their second straight championship.

A rematch was widely anticipated and was close almost throughout. The Heat led 86-79 after Bosh's four-point play with 9:38 remaining in the game, but it was all San Antonio from there.

The Spurs ended up extending their NBA-record straight to eight straight home playoff wins by 15 or more points.

Bosh, scoreless in Game 7 last year, scored Miami's first five points in the Heat's 7-2 start. But Ginobili came off the bench firing, making consecutive 3-pointers for an 18-13 lead.

Wade and James combined for six straight points before Ginobili made another 3, and Patty Mills added one to close the first-quarter scoring and give the Spurs a 26-20 advantage.

The Spurs committed nine turnovers while managing only 20 points in the third quarter, and Miami led 78-74 heading to the fourth.

Notes: James joined Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players with 4,000 points and 1,000 assists in the postseason. ... Ray Allen moved past Bryant and Derek Fisher into second place on the career list with 49 3-pointers in the NBA Finals. Robert Horry, a former Spurs forward, is the leader with 56.

Join the discussion

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vsop333 June 06 2014 at 1:43 AM

Ok, from now all arenas must be between 75'F - 77'F with the lights either dimmed or turned away from LeBron's eyeline with no more than a 5mph breeze and no louder than 92db. Now LeBron can function and we can have a fair game.

Flag Reply +34 rate up
14 replies
Angelo June 06 2014 at 1:04 AM

love how news media makes everything seem unfair to the biggest star athletes and all the underdogs are to blame. That's what LeBron gets for not hydrating.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
6 replies
Sukeycat June 06 2014 at 7:26 AM

Ahhhhhhh, Poor over priced Tattooed ****ers whining again....Maybe they should call the NAACP and complaIn---------

Flag Reply +31 rate up
9 replies
Tasha June 06 2014 at 12:51 AM

lets go spurs

Flag Reply +22 rate up
vsop333 June 06 2014 at 1:38 AM

The problem with the Spurs is their age. The best athletes can only be younger. The older players on the Spurs are more delicate so they are prone to cramping. Oh no wait that's LeBron, the professional commercial celebrity whose sedondary income is basketball.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
1 reply
Paul vsop333 June 06 2014 at 9:50 AM

I guess he won't be doing any more Gatorade commercials.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
blarneystone10 June 06 2014 at 12:46 AM

Both teams played in the same conditions!!! Quit whining James and be the player that you get all those millions to play!!! You are one of the best ever!! Show it with your play!!!

Flag Reply +19 rate up
4 replies
moooooooooochelle June 06 2014 at 1:13 AM

SEND THE WELFARE BABY PACKING...

Flag Reply +16 rate up
8 replies
patriot1too June 06 2014 at 6:35 AM

Its all become far far to politicaly correct and it seems its just a bunch of victim wannabe thugs looking to find some little something to pretend to be offended about. Look how they jumped on Mr. Sterling like sharks smelling blood in the water along with that awful PC media.We just dont view the NBA as we once did. Too PC.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
4 replies
vsop333 June 06 2014 at 1:34 AM

Is it menstrual?

Flag Reply +12 rate up
patriot1too June 06 2014 at 5:32 AM

After their racist nonsense against Mr. Sterling we no longer care for that PC NBA nonsense.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
7 replies
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