The San Antonio Spurs connected on an NBA Finals record 16 three-pointers and got a huge boost from some fresh faces in a raucous 113-77 rout of the Miami Heat to take a 2-1 series lead.
Danny Green scored 27 points, Gary Neal added 24, and Kawhi Leonard played suberb defense against Heat superstar LeBron James, who missed 11 of his first 13 shots.
Green hit seven 3-pointers and Neal had six as the Spurs buried the Heat in the third-largest margin of victory in Finals history.
Tim Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds, bouncing back from his worst-ever Finals performance in Game 2. James ended with 15 points, but many of them were in the 4th quarter when the game was already out of reach.
The game stood in stark contrast to Game 2 when the Heat blew away the Spurs in a 103-84 laugher in Miami.
Leading by 15 heading into the 4th quarter, San Antonio went on a 13-0 run to put the game away.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise,” noted Spurs coach Gregg Popvich. “These are the last two teams standing. I don’t think either one of them is going to get down if they have a bad night.”
“We got what we deserved,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I didn’t even recognize the team that was out there tonight.”
The NBA Finals had not been played in San Antonio since 2007, and fans couldn’t wait to have the Spurs back. They sang, clapped and danced as the party went on all night.
A huge roar went up when Tracy McGrady, a former perennial All-Star making his first Finals appearance as a member of the Spurs’ bench, checked into the game midway through the fourth quarter. He was scoreless but had three assists.
Game 4 is Thursday night in San Antonio, where the Heat are 3-22 in the regular season, and now 0-1 in the postseason. Image/AP