It was just a regular 90-degree, June day in San Antonio this afternoon. I was sitting in my apartment watching Breaking Bad reruns to ease my anxiety in waiting for the game. Then around 4:30 local time, dark skies started creeping, as the thunder rolled and the lightning struck (word to Garth Brooks). Heavy rain wasn’t in the forecast, but the rain certainly took most of us off guard.
The weather was so terrible, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan missed pregame shootaround, while Darius Rucker couldn’t make it in time to sing the National Anthem. It seemed like a bad omen for the Spurs, before the game even started.
(Insert joke about Spurs making it rain to match the weather outside here.)
“Well, we got what we deserved” were the words from Miami Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, after the game. While LeBron James could only muster up, “I gotta play better.”
It’s simple, really. The Heat were out-executed tonight on both ends of the floor. After the Heat’s 20-point victory in Game 2, you knew Pop and the Spurs would make the necessary adjustments to compete better and try to win Game 3. But nobody predicted San Antonio would set an NBA Finals record and make 16 three pointers, while shooting 50% from the three point line.
Gary Neal and Danny Green were on absolute fire, leading the Spurs with 51 combined points (while shooting a combined 68% from beyond the arch), while Kawhi Leonard added another double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
For the Heat, Dwyane Wade led Miami in scoring with 16 points, while LeBron James added 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists on just 7-of-21 shooting. Mike Miller added 15 points off the bench, thanks to a perfect 5-5 shooting from three.
And there’s no guarantee anything from tonight carries over to Thursday. Maybe San Antonio’s shooting will regress to the mean. But as long as the Heat aren’t closing out on shooters, it’s highly unlikely. Daring LeBron to shoot isn’t a smart idea, but James hasn’t demonstrated he can hit an open jumper so far. It’s up to Miami’s Big 3 to play how they are supposed to. Spoelstra will have the proper adjustments in place, in time for Game 4 on Thursday. But Popovich will be prepared for Spo’s next chess move, with stars that are rested, role players that have no fear and a home crowd that is thirsting for a fifth championship.
Two wins down. Two wins to the ultimate goal. Go Spurs Go.
- If you’re looking for an early candidate for NBA Finals MVP, maybe Danny Green is your guy. Seriously. In the NBA Finals so far, Danny Green has 56 points, which leads both teams. LeBron James has 50 points.
- More Danny Green: Ray Allen holds the record for most three pointers in a Finals series, with 22. Danny Green currently has 16 three’s and is shooting 70% (!!!!!) from downtown in the Finals. If the Heat continue to give Green space and let him shoot, that record will most certainly be broken.
- The Spurs offense finally broke free on Tuesday by sharing the ball as usual and making the extra pass. After being held to a measly 16 assists in both Games 1 and 2, the Spurs had 29 assists tonight on 43 field goals.
- Defensively, San Antonio is still having trouble defending the three pointer. The Heat are shooting 43% from deep as a team, with Ray Allen (67%) and Mike Miller (90%. Yes. Ninety bleeping percent.) as the biggest contributors. And I’m pretty sure all of Miller’s three’s have come while being left wide open in transition.
- Via Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News: Miami is now 3-23 all-time in San Antonio.
- Tracy McGrady played tonight. He still hasn’t scored, but that’s now two straight NBA Finals appearances. He’s averaging 2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.5 blocks in the Finals.
- More seriously, Tony Parker seemed to have injured himself in the third quarter of tonight’s game. But Parker did come out to start the fourth quarter, and was benched once the lead ballooned to 23 points, so he was no longer needed. According to Jeff McDonald’s Twitter, an MRI is scheduled for tomorrow, but he should be fine.
Because we love you, here’s video of all 16 San Antonio Spurs three-pointers:
Tweet(s) of the Night:
/Heat drunkenly wander towards the door. /Spurs order them a cab becuse they’re classy, then /SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM /SET DOOR ON FIRE
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) June 12, 2013
If the Heat can trade for Gary Neal and Danny Green during this TV timeout, they’ll be right back in this thing.
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 12, 2013
Diapered children on top of truck celebrate Spurs’ Game 3 win twitter.com/blazersedge/st…
— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) June 12, 2013