Spurs dismantle Heat in Game 3, 113-77

Spurs dismantle Heat in Game 3, 113-77
June 11, 2013, 11:30 pm
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SAN ANTONIO — Great teams tend to be a reflection of their head coach on the floor.

So with San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich being more terse than usual with the media the last couple of days, it would only make sense that the Spurs would come out in Game 3 in a more aggressive, attacking, feisty frame of mind - you know, kind of like their coach.

Indeed, the San Antonio team that showed up for Game 3 was indeed different than their Game 2 incarnation and a lot better, as they pulled away for a convincing 113-77 win in record-setting fashion.

Danny Green led a resurgent Spurs team with a game-high 27 points, and Gary Neal came off the bench to score 24.

San Antonio now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 on Thursday night.

It was indeed a night to remember for San Antonio as they connected on 16 3-pointers, an NBA Finals record.

Similar to Miami's blowout of the Spurs in Game 2, the action in Game 3 was relatively close throughout the first half. But after a 17-footer by Chris Bosh cut San Antonio's lead to 52-46, the Spurs went on a decisive 21-6 run.

LeBron James who was about as close to being a non-factor as we have seen him in a playoff game like, ever, scored the last six points of the third quarter for Miami which cut the San Antonio lead going into fourth down to 15 points.

Whatever comeback hopes the Heat had, were soon dashed when the Spurs opened the fourth quarter with eight straight points which was just the beginning.

As time went on, the Spurs seemed to just get stronger at both ends of the floor.

Just about every San Antonio player who stepped on the floor contributed to the blowout win, but it was Tim Duncan who set the tone with an attacking brand of basketball in the game's opening minutes, the kind that has exemplified his Hall of Fame career.

San Antonio opened the game with an 11-4 run that was capped off by a powerful one-handed dunk by Duncan down the middle of the lane.

It was the kind of flush that you seldom see from the Big Fundamental who was never known for his above-the-rim game.

Miami continued to chip away at San Antonio's lead, but the Spurs seemed to do just enough to stay out front in the first quarter which ended with the Spurs ahead, 24-20.

The second quarter saw the Spurs finally show glimpses of the efficient scoring team that ranked among the NBA's leaders in field goal percentage during the regular season and in the playoffs.

San Antonio took their first double digit lead of the series following a breakaway dunk by Kawhi Leonard who is quickly becoming a star in this series with his hustle, his energy and maybe more than anything else, his defense against James.

It is that same defense, along with some help of course, that has led to James consistently struggling to make shots in this series.

In the first half of Game 3, he missed six of his eight shot attempts. For the game, he finished with 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting.

However, Miami did get a much-needed lift offensively from Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller who had 16 and 15 points, respectively.

After a Gary Neal 3-pointer put the Spurs ahead 43-32 - their largest lead of the series at that point - the Heat responded with a 12-1 run capped off by a reverse lay-up by Wade with 37.8 seconds to play in the half.

But as they had done earlier, the Spurs responded to Miami's surge with one of their own.

A 3-pointer by Tony Parker put San Antonio back on top. And after Danny Green blocked a shot by James, the Spurs quickly got the ball up court and into the hands of Neal whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Spurs a 50-44 lead at the half.