Jun 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (4) congratulates San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) after defeating the Miami Heat game one of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. San Antonio Spurs won 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsRegardless of the outcome of this series, one thing is for certain. Tony Parker’s shot off the glass with 0.1 left on the shot clock will forever be remembered.
It’s hard to put in words what happened tonight. After the Spurs took a 9-2 lead in the first quarter, the Heat did a great job of suffocating the Spurs offense, while getting wide open looks for themselves and nailing them. The Spurs would take a 19-18 lead with 3:02 left in the first, and never see the lead again until Tony Parker’s free throws with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter.
The 77-76 Spurs lead lasted 19 seconds.
But it wasn’t Tony Parker that sparked the Spurs miniature 8-1 run, that would put them ahead for good. It was the second year player out of San Diego State, Kawhi Leonard.
After a Neal miss, Leonard rebounded and banked in a shot all in one mid-air motion to put San Antonio up one. Then on the other end of the floor, as I call it, Kawhi Leoanrd did Kawhi Leoanrd things – his active hands deflecting LeBron James’ pass, which led to a gorgeous Tony Parker fastbreak layup.
And then of course this to seal the game:
Parker’s 21 points and six assists led the Spurs tonight, but the true story is TP had zero turnovers. The team had four the entire game, two of which were in the first quarter. Also for San Antonio, the ageless Tim Duncan added 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 36 minutes. Kawhi Leonard double-doubled with 10 points and 10 boards.
On the other side, what can you say about LeBron James? 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists for the Heat, but of course the triple-double came in a losing effort. Wade and Bosh combined for 30 points for Miami, with Ray Allen scoring 13 points off the bench.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. It’s only one game. Miami lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals last year, only to roll off four straight against Oklahoma City. But the fact that San Antonio pulled off a win on the road, after getting out-rebounded and having a sub-par shooting night, bodes well for the Spurs.
Both teams now have two days off to make the proper adjustments before Game 2 on Sunday night.
13 wins down. Three more to the ultimate goal. Go Spurs Go.