The San Antonio Spurs have proved themselves viable competitors against the Miami Heat thus far in the NBA Finals. The Spurs came in to the American Airlines Arena making a statement as they stole home-court advantage from the defending champions.
But the Heat knotted things up at home with a blowout, handing San Antonio a 103-84 rout and leaving their Big Three in silence.
Now, both teams look to gain an edge in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9 p.m. as the series shifts to San Antonio, each team bringing with them one win apiece.
While Miami took Game 2 with a significant final margin, it was anyone’s game in the first half as each team delivered back-to-back blows. It wasn’t until late in the third quarter when, trailing 62-61, the Heat went on a 33-5 run stretching their lead to 98-71 with 4:41 remaining.
LeBron James ended the first half with just four points, one rebound, and four assists but he turned it around with an explosive performance in the fourth quarter to finish with 17 points, eight boards, and seven assists. James delivered only 7 of 17 shooting, but guard Mario Chalmers says they don’t ever worry whether James will come through.
While Miami’s Big Three didn’t produce big numbers offensively, James (17), Chris Bosh (12), Dwyane Wade (10), and the supporting cast rose to the occasion. Chalmers had a team-high 19 points, followed by 13 from Ray Allen. Chris Andersen and Mike Miller chipped in with nine points each.
On the other hand, San Antonio’s Big Three will also have to show up with a different attitude tonight after a subpar performance on Sunday. Tim Duncan shot 3 of 13 and scored just nine points. Tony Parker offset his five baskets in 14 attempts with five turnovers, and Manu Ginobili had three of the Spurs’ 17 turnovers that led to 19 Heat points; a performance Ginobli says won’t win them games.
The Spurs went 35-6 in the regular season and 6-1 in the playoffs in San Antonio where the Heat are 3-22 in their last 25 games.
With the Finals 2-3-2 format, when tied at 1-1, the team to take Game 3 will have an overwhelming statistical advantage. Since the format began in 1985, the Game 3 winner of a tied series goes on to win it all 12 out of 13 times.