The San Antonio Spurs certainly took advantage of their home field advantage. Game 3 was the first of the series to be played in San Antonio, and the Spurs welcomed the Head to Miami with a 113-77 blow out. Sharpshooting was on display in a way it never has been before in the NBA Finals, the Spurs set the record for most 3 pointers made during a Finals game with an incredible 16.
After the 19 point defeat the Heat were able to hand them in game 2 leveled the series, people instantly began wondering if the Spurs would be able to win another game in the series. Vegas saw bettors place around 85 percent of money bet on game 3 placed on the Heat, despite the fact that they were correctly pegged as the underdog.
The Spurs responded in grand fashion, blowing out the defending champion Heat in game 3 by an almost unbelievable 36 points. No one would have imagined a loss like this would have been possible for the Heat to suffer going into the playoffs, yet the Spurs have a 2-1 lead in the series, and all the pressure Miami thought it shook with its game 2 win has been thrown right back at them.
Key to last night’s game was the unsung hero. San Antonio found a few of them, letting them shine on the biggest stage in basketball. Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 51 points on the night, just 26 fewer than the star studded Heat roster scored as a whole.
Danny Green was a teammate of LeBron James while in Cleveland in 2009. When asked if he ever dreamt that he would outscore the four time MVP in an NBA Finals game he replied, “Never thought in a million years that would happen.” Well his 27 points led all scoring on the night, a perfect time for a career outing.
San Antonio’s stars didn’t disappoint either. Tim Duncan continues to be a double double machine, putting up 12 points and 14 rebounds during the victory. Tony Parker has just six points, but dished out eight assists while protecting the ball much better than in game 2.
Turnovers weren’t the same issue that they were in game 2. In the Spurs’ game 3 blow out of the Heat, they turned the ball over just 12 times. Not a perfect outing, but an acceptable number when facing a team that attempts to create turnovers and run the floor as often as the Heat do.
Defensive improvement was obvious for the Spurs. Holding the Heat to 26 fewer points than their previous meeting in game 2. Greg Poppovich made adjustments in the two days between games, and every single one of them seemed to pay dividends. His new approach stifled LeBron early and often. ‘King’ James missed 11 of his first 13 shots, and was held to just 15 points.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, they can’t entirely enjoy the victory. All-Star guard Tony Parker is having MRI on hamstring today as a result of an injury suffered in the game 3 blow out over the Heat.
Chinks are showing in the Miami armor. The Heat still have not won back to back games since they were playing the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi-final round. For a team that has the best record on paper, they have issues they have to address right now. They need to string together a winning streak, it’s impossible for them to repeat as champions without one.
The Spurs were able to adjust in game 3, after the Heat had made the necessary adjustments in game 2. The ball is back in the Heat’s court so to speak, pressure will be turned up on the defending champions once again as they will have to adjust and adapt to the wrinkles the Spurs through at them in the game 3 blow out.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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