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From big 3s to Big Three, the Spurs had it all in the NBA Finals’ raucous return to San Antonio
“A terrible performance by the Miami Heat,” Dwyane Wade called it.
Who the man in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals you ask?? Not LeBron as many predicted.
James struggled mightily we might add but the defending champions lost Game 3 to the San Antonio Spurs 113-77 at AT&T Center Tuesday night and now trail 2-1 in the NBA Finals. They did it with three-pointers, setting an NBA Finals record with 16 in the game. And they did it with an extended run, finishing the game on a 69-33 tear after a tie at 44.
James led the half with 50-44, missed 11 of his first 13 shots and finished with less than 20 points for the third consecutive game.
“We didn’t do anything right tonight,” James said. “We can’t play like that on either side of the floor if we want to win.”
The Spurs broke open a close game, tied at 44, with a 69-33 run. And it wasn’t Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, or Manu Ginobili at center stage, but role players like Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, or Manu Ginobili at center stage but role players Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green.
Neal, who had scored in double-digits four times in 16 playoff games, finished with 24 points and hit six three-pointers.
“All of my teammates and Pop, they do a great job of encouraging me to continue to shoot the ball,” Green said.
Duncan played quarterback yet again, starting the break with a quick outlet pass to Parker and another to Neal on the left wing for his shot. But there had been missed opportunities — two consecutive wide open threes that were missed by Matt Bonner midway through the second and eight turnovers that led to 10 Heat points.
The Spurs pulled away yet again midway through the third quarter, and it had everything to do with Duncan’s desire. After his jumper and a Green three put the Spurs up 11, Duncan blocked an out-of-control layup from Mario Chalmers and lunged toward the baseline to keep the ball in bounds and start the fastbreak. With Duncan falling into the front row and Green attacking the rim on the other end en route to getting (and making) two free throws, their run that began late in the second quarter stretched to 15-2 and they led 59-46.
Game 4 happens Thursday, June 13th.