WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 12, 2013 — Game 3 of the NBA finals was painful for Heat fans. Gone were the flashes of brilliance that lifted hopes in Game 2, replaced with distraught disbelief as the Spurs dominated the Heat 77 - 113, taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
That 36 point beating far surpassed the Heat’s “blowout” victory of 103-84 in Game 2 and puts the Heat on their heels for tomorrow’s Game 4. In San Antonio. Against a San Antonio Spurs team that was nothing short of dazzling last night.
For much of the game, the Heat looked physically and emotionally tired. They were slow to respond and rotate and frequently out of position, allowing the Spurs to set the pace of the game. LeBron James scored 15 points, missing 11 of his first 13 shots, and won 11 rebounds. Dwayne Wade scored 16 points and Chris Bosh scored 12.
The Spurs, on the other hand, stepped up to end criticism after the Game 3 loss. Their performance included an NBA-final record 16 3-pointers as well as outstanding all around team performance. Often-mentioned for their undrafted or unwanted status, Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 51 points. Spurs Royalty Tim Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and congratulated Green and Neal. After the game, Duncan said, “Those guys shot incredibly. Gave us the breathing room when we needed it.”
Neal was undrafted after college play at LaSalle and Towson, and played three seasons in Italy, Spain and Turkey before entering the NBA. Neal may have an even bigger role in the next game, as Spurs starting point guard Tony Parker continues to suffer hamstring difficulties. He will have an MRI today.
Green was cut from multiple NBA teams, including the Cavaliers when James was on the team.
Miami needs to regroup and fast. Odds in favor of the Spurs at this point are dizzying. Twelve of the 13 teams that won Game 3 of the Finals when tied at 1-1 since 1985 have gone on to win the series. The Heat are 3 for 22 in regular season games in San Antonio, and have no wins in San Antonio in the postseason.
As for final thoughts on Game 3, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra summed it up beautifully, “We got what we deserved. I didn’t even recognize the team that was out there tonight.”
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