Live Blog: NBA Finals Game 3
The San Antonio Spurs have won Game 3, beating the Heat soundly with a final score of 113 to 77.
To find out what happened when–such as when the Spurs ultimately pulled away–read the live blogging that we did by scrolling below.
The series is now 2-1, in favor of the Spurs.
End of Fourth Quarter, Spurs win 113 to 77
Andy: That’s it for Game 3. The plotting for Game 4 begins. No smiles from Gregg Poppovich, and Erik Spoelstra was looking at the floor in the last minute.
Zachary: Thanks for following along! Come back for Game 4 on Thursday
Fourth Quarter, 2:10 left, Spurs 109 Heat 76
Andy: At this point, the Spurs want to not enjoy the blowout too much, and the Heat want to find fuel for Thursday’s fire. The bench players for both teams will shake off the rust in these last few minutes.
Zachary: After this game, I predict Game 4 will be either a really tough, gritty match, or the Heat will blow-out the Spurs in turn. Game 4, and Game 5, will be in San Antonio, as this game was. Back to Miami for Game 6 and Game 7.
Andy: DeJuan Blair is making a case for more playing time. He was a starter for the Spurs in seasons past.
[tok id=62b33c165d0e3051384915c475e7ffce partner=1966]
Fourth Quarter, 3:39 left, Spurs 105 Heat 74
Zachary: Parker has some kind of injury; doesn’t matter for this game but could be a factor in the series. He’s on the bench for the rest of the night in this blowout. He only played 28 minutes but Neal and Green played so well he wasn’t missed.
Zachary: McGrady with a missed 3 and a missed jumper, and a rebound.
3rd Quarter, 5:43 left, Spurs 102 Heat 71
Stat watch: Danny Green 7 of 9 from three, Gary Neal 6 of 10
Zachary: T-Mac in! Read about his experience coming to the Spurs here.
Dan: Standing Ovation for T-Mac.
Dan: When is Spoelstra gonna empty the bench? Now, it looks like.
Andy: The headlines will be about the 3’s, but the Spurs defense has been the real story.
Zachary: Danny Green hits another 3-pointer.
Fourth Quarter, 7:11 left, Spurs 97 Heat 71
Andy: From here on, it’s all about positioning for Thursday. What will each team do to impact the psychology for the next game?
Zachary: The Heat need to come into next game strong, and with a positive mindset. This is just one game and they still have a chance to take this series from the Spurs.
Dan: Its hard right now to imagine how the Heat won last game.
Zachary: NBA Finals record 15 3-pointers for the Spurs. They are hitting everything!
Fourth Quarter, 7:47 left, Spurs 94 Heat 71 (time-out)
Dan: Green and Neal combine for 39 pt, 8 reb, 2 blks.
Dan: Welcome to the Gary Neal Show!
Zachary: This is tough to watch–you want to see well-played basketball in the playoffs, especially the finals! But that’s only happening on the Spurs side.
Andy: That’s it, folks. Spurs up by 28 with Parker and Duncan on the bench, and they aren’t getting off it again tonight.
Dan: The next move for Coach Spo: The White Flag and take the starters out?
Zachary: This lead is insurmountable! The Spurs are just shooting very, very well, and the Heat haven’t played that well on offense not to mention their poor defense. Although in a way it’s the strong Spurs offense, not the Heat defense.
3rd Quarter, 10:33 left, Spurs 86 Heat 63
Dan: Splitter with the two-handed dunk with 0.1 on the clock. He learned his lesson from LeBron.
Popovich, Spurs coach: “I think we played real solid defense.” “I can’t tell you that,” in response to a question about how they’re guarding LeBron James.
Dan: This is getting very frustrating to watch for Miami.
Andy: Gary Neal is shooting extremely well. Two quick three-pointers, and the lead is back over 20 for the Spurs.
End of 3rd Quarter, Spurs 78 Heat 63
Stat Watch: LeBron James 4 for 15 shooting, but has scored 9 consecutive points
Dan: LeBron looks like hes discouraged. Another TO from the King.
Dan: Cory Joseph laying it in against the Birdman!
Zachary: Parker and Duncan on the bench
Dave: Four in a row for LeBron?? What is going on??
Andy: James is getting hot from the outside. Will Spurs switch tactics?
Zachary: James finally gets some energy and good shots going on. Good to see! Heat on a nice run, until Splitter gets a dunk to put the lead back at 15
Andy: This game is not over. The Heat will take it to them until the end.
Dan: LeBron with nine consecutive points. Heating up?
Stat Watch as end of 3rd Quarter nears:
Spurs scoring leaders:
Heat scoring leaders
Third Quarter, 1:50 left, Spurs 75 Heat 54
Andy: Ladies and Gentlemen, we are verging upon a blowout, and it’s only the 3rd
Dave: Man, who picked Miami to win this series??
Third Quarter, 2:54 left, Spurs 73 Heat 52
Dan: LeBron hasn’t made a shot since 2:05 in the 2nd.
Andy: The Spurs haven’t met an extra pass they don’t like tonight.
Zachary: This is becoming a blow-out, and at this point I’m not sure the Heat can recover
Dan: LeBron is afraid to put the ball up.
Third Quarter, 3:36 left, Spurs 69 Heat 52
Dan: Worst performance from James this series.
Andy: The Spurs are daring those Heat all-world stars to take the jumpers, and it’s working. They’re not making the few jumpers they take, and they can’t create anything when they go inside. Mike Miller is barely keeping the Heat afloat all by himself.
Zachary: In a related subject, not impressed with the commercials tonight.
Third Quarter, 3:36 left, Spurs 69 Heat 52
Andy: Surprised that the Heat aren’t answering the bell here. It’s a heavyweight fight, and the Spurs are landing a flurry of punches since just before halftime.
Dan: Tony Parker gone to the locker room. On the floor: Leonard, Neal, Duncan, Ginobili, Joseph.
Zachary: I expect the Heat to get on a run, they just need to get the ball to Miller; he’ll help everyone else heat up too. Spurs are on another run though, and the Heat need to find motivation. You’re in the finals guys!
Third Quarter, 5:31 left, Spurs 64 Heat 52
Andy: The Heat just look out of sync right now, except for Mike Miller.
Dave: Maybe the Heat should throw to Miller more??
Third Quarter, 7:06 left, Spurs 62 Heat 49
Zachary: Heat: THROW THE BALL TO MILLER EVERY TIME! He is hitting everything, even when the defender hits his follow through.
Dan: Spurs have 14 offensive rebounds. Heat only 7.
Andy: Offensive rebounds can break the back of anyone. Spurs are doing the job there.
Third Quarter, 8:21 left, Spurs 58 Heat 46
Zachary: Duncan is hustling! The crowd gets to know him a little bit as he dives for a steal.
Dave: Duncan got a raw deal on that call….
Zachary: Spurs just went on a tear, now leading by 13. Heat really need someone or more than one to step up!
Dan: Does anyone think the Spurs look like the Heat in the second half of the last game?
Andy: Heat are not matching the Spurs intensity as the second half starts.
Stat watch as of 9 minutes left in third quarter:
Leading scorer for Heat: Wade and Bosh tied (12)
Leading scorer for Spurs: Neal (14) with Duncan at 12
Rebounds: Duncan has 9 and James has 6
Assists: Wade and James both have 5; Parker has 8
Steals: Wade has 4; Green and Leonard have 2 each
Third Quarter, 10:33 left, Spurs 52 Heat 44
Dan: And we’re back. Already with back-to-back fouls.
Andy: Meanwhile, for the Heat, their Big 3 Subs (Allen, Andersen, Miller) are actually minus in the first half. Look for that to change in the second half.
Dan: If the Spurs’ plan was to get LeBron only 4 points its w
Zachary: Heads up: Spurs threatening to break it open again at start of third quarter; James gets a steal to slow momentum though.
End of Second Quarter, Spurs 50 Heat 44
Dan: Neal with the BUZZER BEATTER! What a Classic.
Dan: Role Players Tonight, making a show
Dan: Gary Neal 3-point run. Will he keep it up in second half?
Dan: LeBron has been setting up plays for everyone else. But ENOUGH!. Time for the King to live it up.
Andy: It seems like Duncan has been quiet, yet he has 10 at the half. Gary Neal, meanwhile, is squaring up and knocking them down from downtown. He’s got 14.
Zachary: I’d love to see the kind of action that happened during the last minutes of the second quarter happen the rest of the game. Both teams are more suited for a fast tempo.
End of Second Quarter, Spurs 50 Heat 44
Andy: And just like that, it’s a one-point game. Miami has the firepower, and takes advantage of the mistakes.
Zachary: Heat game plan needs to be drive, kick it out to Miller. He is on fire! 3/3 from behind the line, and he has few touches, too. (Spurs hit a free throw)
Andy: Don’t blink in this game, folks. The Heat will have some answers for the 3-pointers.
Dave: Wow, back-breaking 6-0 run to end half. Heat are in trouble.
Zachary: The Spurs have a lot of momentum going into half-time, two big shots from Parker and Neal. The Spurs blocked James and came on a fastbreak, with Neal hitting a 3 with seconds left.
Second Quarter, 1:10 left , Spurs 43 Heat 39
Dan: James “accidentally” hit Duncan. Official Timeout.
Andy: So far, the Spurs are executing their defensive game plan, and the Heat don’t have an answer for the extra passes and the three-point shooters of the Spurs.
Dan: Neal leads game in scoring. 11.
Zachary: Quick look at the stats: Neal, Green, and Duncan solid for Spurs (26 points together), versus Wade, Bosh, and Miller leading the Heat (25 points).
Second Quarter, 2:24 left , Spurs 43 Heat 35
Dan: Parker and Duncan pick-and-roll gets past James and Bosh. Easy layup for Timmy.
Zachary: For Bosh, the soft shot clanks in. He may be gaining momentum. Duncan getting key rebounds. Spurs threatening to pull away with an 11-point lead. Someone on the Heat needs to get hot, soon.
Dan: Danny Neal with the dagger! 3 of 5! Number 14 showing up.
Zachary: Okay, there’s Miller with a 3!
Second Quarter, 4:35 left , Spurs 40 Heat 30 (time-out)
Andy: Chalmers has been cited as a key factor, but he got a little out of control, and it resulted in his third foul.
Zachary: Don’t see Chalmers as a key when you have Allen and Miller off the bench, and both Wade and James easily capable of handling point. May be better that he sits for a while.
Zachary: Spurs have great passing going on! Very clean basketball going on.
Dave: Where is James? Been quiet this quarter.
Andy: We haven’t seen many fast breaks and dunks by the Spurs, but that’s where this game is coming too.
Second Quarter, 5:47 left , Spurs 34 Heat 28
Dan: Allen boxes out Neal, gets the rebound and puts it back.
Andy: Parker has been quiet. Let’s see…
Dave: Where was the foul for Allen on the rebound and put-back??
Zachary: Allen gets big and shows how tough he is. Good veteran for the Heat.
Second Quarter, time-out, Spurs 30 Heat 26
Dan: Airrrrrrr Balll!
Andy: Combination of Spurs players doesn’t seem quite right. A little too much hesitation, going a little too deep in the shot clock. So Duncan is back in.
Zachary: Not sure who is on fire more: Danny Green (Spurs, and who just hit a 3) or Mike Miller (Heat). The key is Green is getting more shots.
Dave: This just in: Green is good!
Andy: Tonight’s game shows how integral the 3-point shot is to the modern game. In the 80’s, when it was new, it was a novelty and a “can you believe he made it!”
Dan: Heat have not led yet.
Second Quarter, 7:09 left, Spurs 27 Heat 26
Dan: I thought the plan was to keep the Heat’s Big 3 from getting inside? Oh right, its working.
Dan: Bosh finally drives! Draws that foul, but not making his free throws.
Andy: Lots of action early in the second, but little scoring. Each team is giving the other something to thin about later in the game.
Dan: Leaving Bonner open will be dangerous.
Zachary: Bosh finally sinks one! Nice
Dave: Bonner’s shot starts so low. Looks like it’d be easy to block.
San Antonio Welcomes Spurs Bringing Finals Back Home
SAN ANTONIO—Back in the 1970s, when Red McCombs bought a basketball team to uproot and turn into the San Antonio Spurs, one agent balked that his player wasn’t coming because they couldn’t find the small market on a map.
Now the city is practically the capital of NBA success.
The NBA Finals returned to San Antonio on Tuesday for the first time since 2007 — hardly a drought by any measure. Yet it still feels overdue to many in this self-proclaimed “Military City USA,” where the Spurs are the only game in town and fans proudly tick off connections they insist run deeper than broad characterizations often used to link a city’s identity with its sports team.
Second Quarter, 9:40 left, Spurs 27 Heat 20
Zachary: Lots of–too many–jumpers from the Heat, who aren’t making many (other than Miller). On the other side the Spurs are sinking shots.
Andy: Lebron needs to resist the jumpers, and create inside.
Dave: Chris Andersen’s mohawk….not since Ben Wallace’s fro has someone added three inches via haircut.
Dan: James let the clock wind down, settled for 3. Trying to be like Gary Neal?. Didn’t work so well.
Zachary: Another jumper from the Heat; they are not moving around enough or driving enough. Maybe time to get some fresh legs in there?
Dave: Splitter seems aggressive early. He’s probably intent on having the tape of him being blocked by James burned for good.
First Quarter Recap: Spurs 24, Heat 20.
Dave Martin: Tony Parker has come out active early on for the Spurs, assisting on four shots and hitting another himself. Teammate Tim Duncan has been aggressive in the early going himself. The ‘Big Fundamental’ had just nine points in Game 2, but has six points off of three of six shooting while adding a pair of rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard hits both of his first two jumpers and has five points and three rebounds in the first quarter.
For the Heat, Chris Bosh missed four of his five attempts—with only a layup to his credit—while adding a pair of rebounds. Dwayne Wade, who hasn’t had a great finals thus far, has been the catalyst thus far for Miami with eight points (while hitting four of five shots) and two assists.
LeBron James had a relatively quiet quarter scoring just two points and taking just two shots.
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat coach, at the beginning of the second quarter: “They’re getting everything in the paint, and they’re getting in an incredible groove right now.”
End of First Quarter, Spurs 24 Heat 20
Andy: Splitter with the two-hand dunk, taking no chances after the much-publicized rejection by Lebron in Game 2.
Zachary: First quarter thoughts? Share them in our TOK below by voting for who you think is going to win, as well as voicing your thoughts in a comment.
Dave: Amazing how many substitutions happen for 1.8 seconds.
Zachary: Perhaps the only time we’ll see Chris Andersen take a 3-pointer!
Dan: Thoughts on a Spurs’ 4-point lead end of the 1st?
Andy: Both teams holding form. Nothing big established, although the Heat are getting inside well, and if the Spurs don’t correct that, it could be a long night for the Spurs.
First Quarter, 51.0 left, Spurs 24 Heat 20
Dan: Tim Duncan repeatedly posting up on Bosh and scoring. Much Credit given.
Dan: Wade doesn’t look like he’s injured. He’s been making the most assists for the Heat.
Andy: Doesn’t look like Green can handle Lebron as well as Leonard can.
Zachary: Is it just me or do the Spurs always seem very, very calm? Then again, the Heat are more energetic, especially with Chris Andersen and Mike Miller in there.
First Quarter, 2:30 left, Spurs 19 Heat 16
Andy: I would call that a statement dunk by Ginobili.
Zachary: Ginobili and Miller going to battle it out near the end of the first quarter; they have more energy than the starters. Bosh should have gone up for a block on that dunk, though. James answers at the other end.
Andy: Bank shot, a big fundamental! Both teams in character right now.
Zachary: Okay, James starting to get the Heat offense going. Let’s see if he gets another triple-double today.
First Quarter, 4:08 left, Spurs 15 Heat 12 (time-out)
Andy: Finally someone makes a free throw, after almost 7 minutes of play.
Dan: Spurs’ Big 3 are hitting the floor hard, not getting the call though.
Zachary: Ginobili off the bench is strong with a layup while Mike Miller for the Heat answers immediately with a 3. Read about Miller getting more playing time in the playoffs here.
Andy: bench play immediately changes the complexion of the game.
Dan: Mike Miller, the first sub, comes and hits his first three. Not surprising, been hitting at extremely high rate. In front of Battier.
First Quarter, 5:10 left, Spurs 13 Heat 7
Andy: Heat can’t lose their poise, they’re not doing anything particularly wrong at this point.
Dan: Danny Green got his own rebound, where’s the D, Heat?
Zachary: Bosh comes in strong for a rebound for the first time in the game! Heat still not getting many good looks, though.
9:16 p.m. First Quarter, Spurs 9 to Heat 4
Dan: You know something’s wrong with LeBron is taking contested jumpers.
Andy: Spurs giving away points at the free throw line.
Dan: Three Heat players surrounding Duncan, and Duncan still dunks at the rim.i
Andy: Miami has had some good looks, but it’s not going in for them.
9:14 p.m., First Quarter, 7:10 left
Dan: Tim Duncan playing aggressive, continuously going in the paint.
Andy: When Parker is under control, good things happen. When he’s not, turnovers result.
Andy: Let the Big 3 shoot from outside; that’s still the Spurs defensive strategy.
Andy: Spurs playing with confidence early.
9:09 p.m., First Quarter, 11:00 left
Andy: Interesting schedule, with two days off between the games in Miami, but only one day between these games, and they had to travel. Nobody will admit fatigue is a factor, but you know it has to be.
Andy: Taking no chances on their first possession, Parker and Duncan handle the ball, and Duncan gets the jump hook to go. Wade answers with a quick reverse layup.
Dan: Tim Duncan going in the paint to draw the foul.
9:07 p.m. Game 3 has started!
9:00 p.m., game hasn’t started yet but should soon
Andy: The injury factor: Dwayne Wade has been slowed a lot this season, but his Finals adrenaline looks like a magic elixir.
Andy: We hear traffic is preventing some fans from reaching their seats. So that psychological lift from the hometown fans for the Spurs will be a little muted at first.
Dan: Sebastian De La Cruz “The Golden Cowboy from San Antonio,TX.” Did good. Sang the National Anthem.
Andy: During introductions, the Heat stayed in their circle, scowling at each other, ignoring the announcer. The Spurs come out in the more traditional fashion, one by one as their names are called.
Dan: Other than Coach Pop. When he was called, Pop had no expression. As serious as ever.
8:48 p.m. EDT, 12 minutes until game time
Dan: With Manu playing like he’s this series, it’s unlikely he will be able to step it up. The Spurs will only have a Big 2!
Dan: Will being with the home crowd make a difference for the Spurs’ playing?
Andy: The experts say the home team starts any NBA game with a 60-40 chance to win. But the Spurs overcame those odds in the opener.
Dan: And the Heat will also overcome those odds too tonight
Dan: If Mario Chalmers is outscoring Tony Parker at the point, Spurs won’t win. With Timmy and Tony not playing well, not matter how good the rest plays, the Spurs can’t win.
Andy: I have a feeling we’ll see a surprise contribution from one of the benches tonight. Which one? We’ll see by halftime.
8:42 p.m. EDT, 18 minutes until the game starts
Andy: OK, Dan, let’s go over our keys for the game. What’s your first key?
Dan: The 3 point shooters got to make their shots for both teams. Will definitely determine outcome.
Andy: Executing the defensive game plan. Spurs did it in Game 1, and the Heat disrupted the Spurs in the second half of Game 2
Dan: Not surprised if that happened tonight again, if the Heat played just like how they did in the last game: hot and streaky.
Andy: Next key: Men off the Bench: in alphabetical order, Allen, Andersen, and Miller have been huge for the Heat in both games. Can Manu and other Spurs bench players step it up?
Andy: Last key: Adjustments. After two games, these teams know each other intimately.Which team will do better at recognizing the other’s adjustments, and make the extra in-game adjustments?
Dan: Show no mercy for the Spurs, go in the post and right into the paint.
Satisfied and Shaken, Spurs Back at Home for 3 Games
SAN ANTONIO—On a day of rest at the NBA Finals, Tim Duncan had work to do.
Not only was he admittedly awful in Game 2, he had never been so bad on this stage. He shot 3 for 13 from the field for nine points, posting finals career lows in scoring, field goal percentage and field goals made, according to STATS.
The three-time finals MVP made only 11 of 32 shots in Miami and knows he must be better if the San Antonio Spurs are going to win their fifth title in five finals appearances.
“Obviously, they’re contested shots, but they’re the shots I feel I can make,” Duncan said after the Heat’s 103-84 victory Sunday. “So whether it be them or me or whatever it may be, I’m going to get back in the gym tomorrow and hopefully come out with a better stroke,” he said. “But I’m getting the shots I want. I just have to knock them down.”