Spurs KO Heat; Lead Series 3-2
SAN ANTONIO (CBSMiami) - After a performance for the ages from the Miami Heat's Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade in Game 4 tied up the 2013 NBA Finals; Miami came back to the AT&T Center looking to take a 3-2 lead with the series set to return to South Florida.
Instead, the Spurs ran off another double-digit victory 114-104 over the Heat and took a 3-2 series lead needing only one victory to win another NBA Championship.
The first surprise of the night came when San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich chose to insert guard Manu Ginobili into the starting lineup to match Miami's small-ball lineup.
Ginobili started the scoring on a three-point shot that was in reality a two-point shot that the referees miscalled in real-time. The call would be reversed at the first timeout and changed to a two-point basket.
The Heat quickly countered with Dwyane Wade hitting a jumper and the two teams were off and running. both teams started off very aggressive, taking the ball right at the basket.
After trading baskets, the Heat opened up a seven point lead only to see LeBron James get a massive alley-oop dunk in transition that closed the lead down to just three points.
Ginobili hit a three-pointer to give the Spurs a six-point lead and Bosh responded with a quick layup off a Dwyane Wade pass.
By the time the first timeout was called by Popovich, the Spurs had a four-point lead and were hanging with Miami, despite the game going up and down the floor, which typically favors the Heat.
Both teams repeatedly got to the free throw line in the first quarter, but San Antonio struggled, shooting just 60 percent from the charity strip through the games first eight minutes.
As the quarter wound down under four minutes, Spurs point guard Tony Parker got rolling to the basket against Heat backup point guard Norris Cole. Parker hit two quick baskets forcing Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to call a timeout with 3:46 to go in the quarter and San Antonio leading by four points.
But, just as quickly as Heat fans looked up, the Spurs ran off a 12-0 run to blow the game open near the end of the quarter.
The quarter ended with a Kawhi Leonard three-point shot for the Spurs and after one quarter, Game 5 looked very much like Game 3 of the Finals.
The Spurs' Leonard, Duncan, and Ginobili all had seven points each in the quarter while the Heat were led by Wade and James who had 15 points between the two of them.
The second quarter got started much the same way the first quarter ended with the Spurs running past the Heat's defense.
Miami was boosted by a quick three-pointer from Shane Battier, who has missed almost every shot he's taken in the playoffs, but the Spurs responded just as quickly and the lead was back to 12 for San Antonio.
Miami had to call a timeout after just three minutes of the quarter after Chris Bosh got an offensive rebound and when he got to the huddle, Bosh was screaming at teammates to move the ball.
The blowout seemed to be on as the Heat couldn't hit any shot in the first half and Danny Green continued to hit three-point shot after three-point shot, most of them completely uncovered.
Coach Spoelstra decided a little more than half-way through the second quarter that it was time to bench both Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers who were both completely ineffective in the first half.
As the first half continued to wind down, the Spurs were hustling off screens and continually outhustled the Heat to every spot on the court.
But as soon as the point guards left the floor for the Heat, Wade, James, and Bosh helped run off a 10-5 spurt over San Antonio to close the lead to just 11 points with 5:45 left in the half.
Miami continued to pour it on with a four-point play from Ray Allen who hit a three-point shot while being fouled and the Heat closed the lead to 5 with a 12-0 run before Duncan hit a falling-down jump shot to push the lead back to seven points.
As time wound down in the first half, Bosh had to go to the bench after picking up his second foul with about 3 minutes to go. Bosh single-handedly kept the Heat in the game in the first half and no one played defense on Duncan better than Bosh in the first half.
The Spurs ended the first half with a quick basket by Parker and finished with a 61-52 lead over the Heat.
San Antonio had four players in double-figures led by Duncan and Green who had 13 points apiece. Miami was led by the Big Three again with James at 16, Bosh at 10, and Wade at 14.
San Antonio shot the ball at a 62 percent clip from the field in the first half compared to Miami's difficulties at 42 percent from the floor.
Miami started the scoring in the second half with a LeBron jumper followed up by two straight turnovers by the Spurs. Mario Chalmers hit a key three-pointer and narrowed the lead to four before LeBron went to the basket on a fast break and was fouled by Ginobli.
James made two free throws and the Heat were on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter before Parker responded with a quick bucket off the glass and the lead went back to four with just under 10 minutes to go in the third quarter.
But just like the case has been with each game in the series, the Spurs turned to Danny Green who hit a three-pointer to extend the lead back to seven points with nine minutes to go in the quarter.
Green's first three-pointer in the third quarter broke the record for most three-point baskets made in a NBA Finals. The record had been held by the Heat's Ray Allen.
The team's continued going back and forth with Chalmers hitting another three point shot to close the lead to five points withe 7:11 to go in the third quarter.
The Spurs' Danny Green then stopped two straight fastbreak opportunities with Wade and James running the break for Miami.
And just as quickly as the Heat closed the lead the Spurs ran right past a completely gassed Heat team to extend the lead again with four minutes to go in the third quarter.
The problem with the Heat was no matter how many times the Heat closed the lead to 3-5 points, the Spurs responded, usually with a Danny Green three-pointer to drive a dagger into the hearts of Heat fans everywhere.
The Spurs exploited the lineup of the Heat with Shane Battier, Allen, Cole, and Udonis Haslem on the court and ran off a quick 10-0 run to push the lead to 11 with less than a minute to go in the quarter.
San Antonio's run to close out the third quarter was the difference in the game with the Spurs leading Game 5 87-75 heading into the fourth quarter.
As the fourth quarter got rolling, Ginobili continued to hammer the Spurs and Miami had no one able to protect the rim whenever any San Antonio player got into the lane.
The lead was extended to 17 points on a Kawhi Leonard three-point shot and Miami looked ready to run out of the AT&T Center with its tail squarely between its legs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
LeBron was again struggling from the field despite having 22 points in the game. San Antonio built the 17 point lead with a 19-1 run at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
By the time Spoelstra called a timeout, San Antonio was up 94-75 and the game looked out of reach.
All five of the Spurs' starters were in double-figures with 10 minutes to go in the game, led by Ginobili's 22 points in his first start of the season.
But Miami wouldn't just quit and two three-pointers by Ray Allen and a dunk by Bosh pulled the lead down to 13 points with just less than seven-and-a-half minutes to go in the game.
And then Ginobili and Duncan continued to break the heart of Heat fans everywhere by continuing to hit shot after shot in Game 5 and just as quickly, the lead was 17 points again with five minutes to go in the game.
The Heat kept coming and closed the lead to eleven points with 3 minutes to go in the game after Ray Allen stole the ball and hit a three-point shot from the corner.
The Heat finally closed the lead under 10 points with just under two minutes to go in the game with a layup from Allen. Wade came back the next time down the court and missed one of two free throws and San Antonio led by 8 points.
But, just like every other time the Heat closed it to single digits, the Spurs got a quick two-pointer from Parker and then another three-pointer from Green and the lead went back to 13 points.
At that point, both teams emptied the bench and the game was over except for the final score.
The Spurs finished off the game with a double-digit win 114-104 and the Spurs head to Miami up 3-2 in the NBA Finals with a chance to close out Miami in Game 6.
Parker, Green, Ginobili finished with 26, 24, and 26 points respectively for the Spurs while Miami was led by Wade and James who finished with 50 points total.
Game 6 will be at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday night.
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