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Publish Date: 12-06-2013 10:11:32 |
Contact name: NBA Final |
Place: Miami | 428 times displayed |
NBA Finals Spurs-Heat in Five takeaways Game 3 USA Today
The Spurs held LeBron James to 15 points with 11 rebounds and five assists as San Antonio took a 2-1 series lead with a Game 3 victory over the Heat, 113-77, in the NBA Finals on Tuesday
1. LeBron James is human. The Miami superstar missed 11 of his first 13 shots on the way to 15 points during the Heat's 113-77 beatdown in Game 3 of the Finals, hardly resembling the player who has had a season for the ages. James made only seven of 21 shots, including one of five from three-point range. Credit Kawhi Leonard’s defense and blame James for stumbling badly on basketball's biggest stage. To put James’ series-long struggles in perspective, San Antonio’s Danny Green has scored six more points in the first three games of the Finals than James has. That’s the same Green who was cut by the Cleveland Cavaliers after being a teammate of James’. James’ minus-32 rating in Game 3 was the worst plus-minus figure he has posted in any game in his career, including both regular season and the playoffs. Something for James to consider (or maybe not): A loss in this series would drop him to 1-3 in the Finals. Not exactly the stuff of legends.
2. Tony Parker went from an exclamation point to a question mark. The hero of Game 1 disappeared in Game 2 and then was relegated to the bench late in Game 3 after suffering a hamstring injury that could render moot San Antonio's 2-1 lead in the series. He is scheduled to have an MRI on the hamstring Wednesday. No one along the Riverwalk can exhale until the results come back.
3. Gary Neal is trending on Twitter—and everywhere else.The pride of La Salle and Towson who went undrafted and had to play in Italy, Spain and Turkey before making it in the NBA turned into an international celebrity in Game 3, scoring a career playoff-high 24 point in 25 minutes. He made nine of 17 shots and six of 10 three-pointers, a big reason the Spurs converted a Finals-record 16 three-pointers. Danny Green also joined in on the obscurity-to-notoriety thing, making seven of nine three-pointers en route to a career playoff-high 27 points. How do the Spurs always seem to find these kinds of guys?
4. Was Game 3 the inverse of Game 2? Pretty much.The Spurs closed the third quarter with a momentum-shifting dunk by Tiago Splitter before outscoring the Heat, 35-14, in the fourth quarter. DeJuan Blair even had nine points, for goodness sake. The only saving grace for the Heat was that it held Tracy McGrady scoreless in six minutes.
5. Miami might want to win Game 4 … or else. The odds have already swung wildly in the Spurs’ favor. Twelve of the 13 teams that won Game 3 of the Finals when tied at 1-1 since it shifted to the 2-3-2 hosting format in 1985 have gone on to win the series. Pregame.com has already established the Spurs as two-point favorites for Game 4 and is giving them a 56% chance to win the series. Perhaps the most amazing stat of all: San Antonio has never trailed in a series in any of its five Finals appearances. The Spurs have a chance to close out the Heat with victories in Games 4 and 5.