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Heat look to keep defending home court in NBA Finals

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The Miami Heat know how to win in the NBA Finals, especially at home. As such, the San Antonio Spurs made a big mistake letting the Heat win Game 2 of the NBA Finals on June 8, ceding home court advantage as a result. Therefore, the Spurs must win at least one game in Miami, preferably Game 3 on June 10 -- although that may seem impossible at this rate.

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The Spurs are staring at the same fate the Indiana Pacers met back in the Eastern Conference finals. After a convincing Game 1 win, both the Pacers and Spurs lost Game 2 to the Heat with late mistakes, losing the chance to put Miami in a 2-0 hole. When it happened to the Pacers, they barely showed a pulse for the rest of the series, at least in their three losses at Miami.

No matter what the Spurs do for the rest of the NBA Finals, they are staring at the Heat celebrating a three-peat at home in Game 6, unless San Antonio wins once on the road. Given that the Heat have won 11 straight home games in the playoffs, dating back to the 2013 finals, this would seem like a very tough task. But given that the Spurs were the last team to beat the Heat at Miami in the playoffs, back in Game 1 of the 2013 finals, it may be manageable after all.

Of course, the Spurs also had their chance to win on the road in Game 6 and 7 of last year's finals. Those two losses have hung over San Antonio all season, and now this is its first trip back to Miami at full strength since then. There will be no better chance for the Spurs to erase a full year of horrible memories and lost championships -- and all they will really need is one win to take home court advantage back.

Since the NBA Finals have a 2-2-1-1-1 format, the Spurs can take comfort in the fact they will come home in Game 5 -- though it would be more comforting if the series was tied at 2-2 by then, at the very least. However, nothing in the last 11 playoff games at Miami suggests that will happen.

The accompanying slideshow lists how the Heat put together a perfect home record in the 2014 playoffs.



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