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San Antonio Spurs Dominate Miami Heat in Game 3

by Photo of Matthew Golda

Spurs scorch Heat in Miami with an offensive explosion to take a 2-1 series lead.

San Antonio Spurs Dominate Miami Heat in Game 3

The San Antonio Spurs throttled the defending champion Miami Heat in game three of the NBA Finals last night behind a career game from Kawhi Leonard to take a 2-1 series lead. They scored 41 first quarter points, the most in a quarter in an NBA Finals game since 1967, where the Philadelphia 76ers scored 43 in the first quarter of game 6 of the NBA Finals. Their opponent, the San Francisco Warriors, scored 41 in that same quarter. Talk about a shootout.

That point total wasn't the only record the Spurs set last night. They shot the basketball at an incredible rate. In the first quarter, they shot 13-of-15 (87%) on their way to 41 points, good for an NBA Finals record, and shot 25-of-33 (76%) in the first half, also good for an NBA Finals record. They started the game making 19 of their first 21 shots - and their first 6 three pointers. They had a 25-point lead with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter and led 71-50 going into halftime. The Heat chipped away at the lead, but never got within seven points of. The Spurs cruised to this victory.

The key player for the Spurs in this hot start was 22-year-old Kawhi Leonard, who scored a game high 29 points. Leonard scored 16 first quarter points on 5-5 shooting, including hitting 3 threes. Overall, he shot 10-13 from the field. He also had this fourth quarter dunk on Chris "Birdman" Andersen. However, this career game comes off the heels of two lackluster games in San Antonio, where Leonard scored only 18 total points on 6-of-14 shooting in games the Heat and Spurs split.

For the Heat, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James led the team in scoring with 22 points each. However, James led the game in turnovers with seven. He only committed eight turnovers in the first two games combined. Credit the Spurs players for limiting the space for James to maneuver and pressuring him to force plays.

There is good news for the Heat, though. They currently have gone 47 consecutive playoff games without losing two in a row, which is good for third all-time. The Boston Celtics have the record with 54 straight from 1962-1966 and right behind them are the Michael Jordan-led Bulls from 1990-1993, which saw MJ pull off dunks like this and this (sorry, Ewing). Credit this impressive streak to the combination of coach Erik Spoelstra's postgame adjustments and the fact LeBron James plays for the Heat.

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