San Antonio Spurs Game 5 June 2014 NBA Finals

With their backs to the wall, Miami needed a dominant performance from its superstars. Per usual, their biggest star obliged.

LeBron James came out in the first quarter playing like a man with something to prove, probably because he did. LeBron James had a signature performance with 17 first quarter points as Heat exploded to a 22-6 lead.

After LeBron completed a spectacular chase down block on a Patty Mills layup all the momentum was with the Heat and it seemed as if we were about to witness Miami’s grand awakening.

But the Spurs would not allow it. San Antonio ripped off a 12-0 run keyed by a trio of 3-pointers from Leonard, Mills, and Ginobili. The Spurs were able to close out the quarter trailing Miami by a mere seven points.

In the second period, the Heat held on to their seven-point lead until midway through the period when San Antonio went on one of their now patented runs.

The Spurs ripped off a 17-2 run over four minutes late in the half. The spurt was capped by Ginobili’s monster dunk in traffic followed by his step back 3 that gave the Spurs a 45-37 lead. The half finished with San Antonio the owners of a 47-40 lead.

Miami only scored 11 points in the second period, their lowest point total in any quarter during this postseason. Somehow, the Spurs were able to mount their big comeback and take their lead without Tony Parker contributing a single point in the half.

Ginobili led the way for the Spurs with 14 points in 11 first half minutes. LeBron led all scorers in the first half with 20 points on 6-12 shooting and six rebounds. The rest of Heat went 7-22 in the first half, collecting 20 points all together.

Ginobili actually started for the Spurs in the second half and scored the first point of the half for either team when he sank two free throws three minutes into the third quarter.

Patty Mills drew a questionable charging call and finished a reverse baseline layup on the other end to put the Spurs up by 14 before the final important sequence of the series.

Dwyane Wade drove baseline and Tiago Splitter met him at the rim to block the shot. Heading the other way, Patty Mills hit a set 3 before Bosh scored on a driving layup. On the ensuing possession Mills hit a transition 3.

James then missed a pull up jumper for Miami and Leonard collected his ninth rebound before leading the break and finding Ginobili for the open 3. All of the sudden, the Spurs’ lead jumped from 14 to 21 points in one minute and forty seconds of game time.

Patty Mills finishes the third quarter with 17 and San Antonio held a 19-point advantage heading into the final period of play.

The Heat cut the lead back down to 14, but Tony Parker finally woke up to help close out the game. Parker scored his first points Game 5 with 15 seconds left in the third period and was able to make up for his prior ineptitude by scoring 10 straight for San Antonio and finished with 14 in the final period.

LeBron James was sent to the bench with 6:30 left in the game, taking with him the hopes of a Heat comeback. San Antonio sealed the 104-87 Game 5 victory to clinch the team’s — and Tim Duncan’s — fifth championship.

Though many thought that the Spurs were the superior team heading into these Finals, few thought that they would dominate the two-time defending champions so completely.

Thanks to big time performances from role players — Boris Diaw and Patty Mills —a nd a breakout performance from an emerging star — Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard — the Spurs were able to show that their brand of basketball was superior, at least this season, to the star driven brand that the Heat played.

There will be lots of questions surrounding the composition of the Miami Heat heading into next season, but for now the Spurs deserve our attention.

They completed one of the most dominant Finals performances ever, outscoring the Heat by the largest margin in Finals history. The Spurs set records for shooting in various quarters and finished with the highest field goal percentage in Finals history to boot.

After all the talk of how the Spurs played a boring brand of basketball during their previous four championships, we must now applaud the offensive display they put on in this series.

We might not see anything like it for a long time to come.


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