Spurs Return The Favor With Blowout In Game 3
SAN ANTONIO -- From big 3s to Big Three, the Spurs had it all in the NBA Finals' raucous return to San Antonio.
Danny Green made seven of the Spurs' finals-record 16 3-pointers, Tim Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Spurs clobbered the Miami Heat 113-77 on Tuesday night to take 2-1 lead in the series.
Green scored 27 points and Gary Neal made six 3-pointers while scoring 24 as San Antonio went 16 of 32 from behind the arc, rolling to the third-biggest victory in finals history.
Duncan bounced back from his worst game ever in the finals, and the Spurs' combination of fresh faces and old reliables dominated the NBA's winningest team before an eager crowd that hadn't seen the finals here since 2007.
"It shouldn't be a surprise," said Spurs coach Gregg Popvich. "These are the last two teams standing. I don't think either one of them is going to get down if they have a bad night."
The Spurs were as good as fans remembered in the old days, shutting down LeBron James until they had built a huge lead late in the third quarter.
James finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but missed 11 of his first 13 shots against the excellent defense of Kawhi Leonard, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 4 is Thursday here, where the Heat are 3-22 in the regular season and so far zero wins and one really bad beating in the postseason.
"We got what we deserved," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I didn't even recognize the team that was out there tonight."
Parker and Ginobili combined for 14 assists, but the bigger story was the guys who had never played on this stage before.
- Neal, who went undrafted after playing for LaSalle and Towson, then playing overseas for three seasons in Italy, Spain and Turkey.
-Green, who had been cut multiple times - including by James' Cavaliers - and now has the shot to stick.
-Leonard, the draft-night trade acquisition from San Diego State who played the NBA's four-time MVP to a stalemate.
It was a potentially pivotal victory for the Spurs in their quest to go 5 for 5 in the finals. Since the NBA Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, the Game 3 winner when the series was tied 1-1 has gone on to win 12 of the 13 titles - though the Heat were the lone one that didn't, in 2011.
Notes: The previous NBA Finals record for a team was 14 3-pointers, held by three teams. ... Miami's first victory in San Antonio came on Dec. 23, 1996, in its 11th try. David Robinson broke his left foot in the second quarter of the Heat's 90-79 victory, missed the rest of the season, and the Spurs fell into the lottery, which they ended up winning so they could take Duncan with the No. 1 pick in the 1997 draft.
Courtesy of (AP)