The San Antonio Spurs knocked off the Miami Heat with a dominating fourth quarter in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Thursday night’s game had plenty of action, but nothing was as polarizing as once LeBron James succumbed to cramps in the final period.
By the second quarter of the Spurs’ 110-95 victory, there was a feeling the heat would play a factor in the game. However, it wasn’t till the start of the fourth quarter that we saw the effects of a non-air conditioned arena. The AT&T Center’s temperature rose into the 90’s and it certainly helped some players on the floor.
Ray Allen is known as one of the most well conditioned athletes in the NBA and he flourished throughout the game. He even took it back to his earlier years in the NBA when he threw down a coast to coast dunk on Danny Green. Allen played 32 minutes and scored 16 points.
However, LeBron James played great basketball until he wasn’t able to go anymore. He finished the game with 25 points and 6 rebounds in 33 minutes, but he cramped up multiple times late in the game. He finally had to shut it down after a lay-up cut the lead to two. It seems that his whole body locked up with every step.
Although James missed the big stretch in the fourth quarter, Miami’s field goal defense wasn’t great all night. They did force 22 turnovers to keep them in the game. Yet, in the fourth quarter, the Spurs displayed much better ball handling.
Tim Duncan imposed his will from the outset in Game 1. Duncan finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. He only missed one shot on 10 field goal attempts, and utilized his skills in the paint.
While Duncan was dominant, he wasn’t the only Spur to make waves. Manu Ginobili came off the bench to hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter and had a stellar floor game for the most part. He finished with 16 points and 11 assists.
Tony Parker also came back from injury with a solid effort. Parker finished the game with 19 points and 8 assists, while committing four turnovers.
The Spurs got 34 bench points compared to Miami’s 20.
Chris Bosh dropped 18 points and nine rebounds on 7-11 shooting. He also had one spectacular drive in the second quarter for a monster jam around Duncan. Dwayne Wade hit for 19 in the Heat loss.
The deciding factor was the fourth quarter run. The Heat were outscored 36-17 in the final stanza, and it was the only time a big run wasn’t answered in the game. Danny Green hit a few dagger triples and had a breakaway jam to help open the lead to double figures.
Boris Diaw had one of the most influential games for a guy who only scored two points. He came off the bench to grab 10 rebounds and six assists, but his spectacular passes were a sight to see in Game 1.
Game 2 of the finals is set to take place on Sunday at 8 p.m.