Spurs, Heat won't let history get in way of Game 6

Spurs, Heat won't let history get in way of Game 6
June 17, 2013, 10:30 am
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SAN ANTONIO – With the NBA Finals shifting back to Miami for Game 6 on Tuesday, the Heat fanbase will be in full effect for sure.

The Spurs will go into that game with a little something extra in their corner, too.

It's called history.

San Antonio's 114-104 Game 5 win on Sunday improved the Spurs record all-time in Game 5 matchups in the Finals, to 4-0.

The only time they didn't win a Game 5 was in the 2007 Finals when they didn't play one after a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers who at that time were led by Miami's LeBron James.

San Antonio's flawless record in Game 5 Finals matchups is a cool stat to marinate on for a minute.

But clearly Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is more from the school of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick ... stats are for losers.

"You just go play Game 6," Popovich said. "There's no magic to it. It's basketball. It's not that complicated. Both teams will compete their fannies off. Coaches will try to help them as much."

In the 2011 Finals between Miami and Dallas, the Heat headed home in a similar 3-2 series hole.

Dallas, led by a game-high 27 points from current Celtics guard Jason Terry, defeated the Heat 105-95 to claim their first NBA title.

However, eight teams have headed home facing a 3-2 series deficit in the current 2-3-2 format.

On three of those occasions, the home team won both games.

Spoelstra wasn't all that impressed when told about that stat, either.

"You can't win a game with a statistic," Spoelstra said. "You've got to win it on the court."

And that is the focus of the Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade who each had 25 points in Sunday night's loss.

Both recall vividly the pain of losing Game 6 to the Mavericks two years ago, on their home floor in front of their fans.

"We're going to see if we're a better ball club and if we're better prepared for this moment," Wade said. "Everything happens for a reason. And this is not a bad reason at all to go home for Game 6 on your home floor."

And while the pressure to perform is on all players involved, it's clear that there's added pressure on James to elevate his play in what is a must-win game for the Heat.

"I have to come up big, for sure in Game 6," James said. "But I believe we all have to play at a high level in order to keep the series going. Me being one of the leaders of this team, I do put a lot of pressure on myself to force a Game 7, and I look forward to the challenge."