Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals begins tonight at 9:00 PM ET on ABC in Miami.
In Sunday’s game, the Spurs had more assists than the Heat (26 to 16), more offensive rebounds (11 to 5), more bench points (37 to 12), four more three pointers (12 to 8), one more steal (7 to 6), and two fewer turnovers (11 to 13). It’s not often that the team that wins the numbers game in those statistics loses the contest, but that just shows how hot the Heat got towards the end of Game 2.
San Antonio still looks like the better team after the first two outings and simply needs to hold LeBron to a mortal performance (easier said than done) for the rest of the series. The Heat don’t seem to be strong enough outside of their biggest star to fill in the holes left when he is held at bay or on the bench. The Spurs are far deeper and will to need rely on that depth as they trudge through the rest of this Finals series.
The funniest part is that it happened to Ginobili—the king of flops.
After a thrilling run of faulty air conditioning, incapacitating cramps and a pre-game yoga session in which LeBron James‘ mantra was clearly revenge, the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are tied at one game a piece as the scene for this NBA Finals grudge match shifts to the powdery white sands of South Beach.
With the loss, the pressure rests squarely on the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs head to King James’ Palace with a focus on recreating the same team basketball that had them earn the top seed in the grueling Western Conference and a mere 28.2 seconds away from being crowned champions in 2013.
The goal is simple—force the series back to the friendly confines of the AT&T Centerin San Antonio.
History suggests that nothing can prepare us for the drama and intensity that looms at American Airlines Arena when these two basketball heavyweights take their places for the next act of this epic series.
The Game 3 winner of the NBA Finals goes on to win the series 83.3 percent of the time, according to Numbers Never Lie—that’s 30 out of 36 times.
But don’t be scared, Spurs fans, remember when the Oklahoma City Thunder had history on their side last series?
Miami stole a win in San Antonio and gained home-court advantage, so it is vital the Spurs head back to the AT&T Center with at least one win in the American Airlines Arena.