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Spurs Rout Heat to Take 2-1 Series Lead

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

The Spurs torched the Heat Tuesday night en route to a 113-77 blowout win.

Spurs Rout Heat to Take 2-1 Series Lead

Coming into Game 3 of the NBA Finals, there was a lot at stake as control of the series and numerous team trends were put on the line. At the end of the night, the San Antonio Spurs came away with their trends in tact and the upper hand in the series over the Miami Heat, blowing them out 113-77 to take a 2-1 series lead. The Spurs are in great shape now to take the series as 12 of the previous 13 winners of Game 3 in an NBA Finals series previously tied at one went on to win the series.

The Spurs took control of this game early on and had a stranglehold on it for the whole night. They never trailed and just expanded their lead as the game went on. The Spurs dominated every facet of the game last night and it showed in the final score and box score as every stat was in the Spurs’ favor. With the win tonight, the Spurs continued their streak of never trailing in an NBA Finals series and moved to 4-0 on the season after games in which they lost by 19-plus points.

The main players for the Spurs did much better tonight than in Game 2, but they weren't the main story. Tim Duncan registered another double-double in scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Tony Parker scored six points and had eight assists, and Manu Ginobili scored seven points to go along with two rebounds and six assists.  Whatever they gave the Spurs tonight was an added bonus as the supporting cast and reserves blew the Heat out of the water.

That group was led yet again by Danny Green, who scored a game high 27 points. Green continued his lights out shooting from the perimeter, knocking down 7-9 three point attempts in the game. His teammate Gary Neal gave him a run for his money, going 6-10 from deep and finishing the night with 24 points, four rebounds and three assists. Kawhi Leonard joined in on the shooting parade tonight as well, making two of his three attempts from beyond the arc and scoring 14 points to go along with 12 rebounds, two assists and four steals. On the night the Spurs shot 48.9 percent from the field and 50 percent again from the three point line.

Where Leonard really shined tonight was on the defensive end as he once again held Lebron James in check. Without James able to get anything going the Heat were toast. Leonard held James to seven of 21 from the field and only 15 points, both playoff lows. What stood out the most of James’ stat line was the free throw section. There is a doughnut there for James, the first time in his Miami postseason career that he has failed to take at least one free throw.

This is the third consecutive playoff game James was held under 20 points, which has only happened once for James in the postseason. The last time was also in the NBA Finals in 2011 against the Dallas Mavericks, also the last time the Heat lost a playoff series. James registered the worst +/- ratio in the game tonight ending with a putrid -32 in his 39 minutes on the court.

The rest of his running mates did not fare much better, as Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade disappointed once again. Bosh finished the game 4-10 for 12 points, adding 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks. Bosh was the best player on the court tonight for the Heat but was it nowhere near enough to overcome the onslaught the Spurs put on them. Wade was pretty disappointing again, going 7-15 from the field for 16 points, zero rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block. He finished the game with a -29 +/- ratio in his 34 minutes played.

The only bright spot for the Heat tonight on the offensive end was Mike Miller, who has made the most of his reentry into the rotation. He knocked down all five of his three point attempts in the game. Without those three pointers the score would have been that much uglier.

Everything was not all good and cheery for the Spurs after the game though as Parker was forced to leave in third quarter with a hamstring injury. With the game already in hand, he did not come back onto the court and will have an MRI on his right hamstring Wednesday. His status for Game 4 Thursday night is still undetermined.

If Parker is unable to go Thursday, the Heat will have the upper hand as the Spurs would be forced to go to inexperienced guards Neal or Chris Joseph to fill the void left by Parker, something the Heat would surely take advantage of. Smart money would be on seeing Parker suit up Thursday night though as the Spurs will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series and move one step closer to another NBA Championship while the Heat will attempt to even the series up and get home court advantage back in their favor.

Let CHARGED.fm find you San Antonio Spurs tickets to the NBA Finals!

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