LeBron James vowed to play better in Game 4. The four time MVP knew there was no way the Miami Heat could win this series without him performing to the level he’s capable of. And not only did he step up, but so did his teammates.
Thursday night shouldn’t have come as a total surprise. Miami’s been doing this since January 12th, after losing their second straight game of the season. The Heat always bounce back, and when they do, it’s in dominating fashion. LeBron James got in his groove and led the Heat with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Dwyane Wade turned the clock back and came through with a vintage “Flash” performance with his 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 13 boards.
It felt like a bad omen for the Spurs to start the game. San Antonio managed to win the tip and instantly committed a backcourt violation. But the Spurs biggest fear would be the health of Tony Parker, who had a tremendous first half with 15 points, only to go scoreless and disappear in the second half.
And Tony took the Spurs offense with him.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points, but just five rebounds in Game 4. Parker added 15 points, nine assists and four rebounds. Green and Leonard had 10 and 12 points respectively.
The main thing to take out of tonight’s game, is the same thing Miami took out of Game 3′s blowout. Regardless of all the mistakes and missed shots, which resulted in a 16-point loss tonight, it’s only one game. The series is tied at 2-2 and the Spurs still have one last game at home before we shift back to South Beach. And San Antonio’s problems are fixable.
We’ve learned the Spurs thrive when they’re sharing the ball offensively, while causing turnovers and limiting their own. San Antonio managed to survive nine first half turnovers, thanks to their shooting and an above average job defensively. But when the intensity ratcheted it to start the second half, the silver and black came out lackluster and uninspired.
But again, this performance only cost them one game. And now the Spurs will have two full days off before Game 5. Plenty of time for rest and adjustments. The Spurs have responded to every playoff loss with a double-digit win, just like Miami has. The only question that remains is, do the Spurs have another win in them.
14 wins down, but the magic number to the ultimate goal remains two. Go Spurs Go.
Just some quick game notes after tonight’s loss:
- Danny Green and Gary Neal continued their hot shooting streak in Game 4, but of course the game results weren’t what we wanted or expected. The new “Splash Brothers” went a combined 6-9 (67%).
- After making 16 three pointers in Game 3, the Spurs only attempted 16 three’s in Game 4. But for the third game in a row, San Antonio shot 50% from beyond the arch.
- Tiago Splitter started the game on Dwyane Wade, which didn’t go so well…so enter
Bobo the Land WalrusBoris Diaw, who didn’t play any minutes in Game 3. Though Diaw only played 11 minutes tonight, he did start the second half. Interesting to see if Popovich sticks with that lineup against Miami.
- Spoelstra made his own adjustments prior to Game 4, benching Udonis Haslem in favor of a smaller lineup with Mike Miller. The results were horrible, as San Antonio jumped to a 15-5 lead, partly in thanks to Mike Miller’s mistakes. Miller finished the game with zero points, missing his only three point attempt.
- Nando De Colo was activated tonight, while Patty Mills sat in a suit behind the bench. Just goes to show, Pop trusts De Colo more in an emergency than Mills. Also, I blame our loss on Mills’ inability to wave a towel tonight.
Tweet of the Night
Maybe the NBA should consider off-season drug testing after this:
Wade stands for We Are defending Something
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) June 14, 2013