Miami wins series 4-3 (Game 1 of 7)

Miami wins series 4-3

Game 1: Thursday, June 6th
Game 2: Sunday, June 9th
Game 3: Tuesday, June 11th
Game 4: Thursday, June 13th
Game 5: Sunday, June 16th
Game 6: Tuesday, June 18th
Game 7: Thursday, June 20th

Spurs 92

(58-24, 23-18 away)

Heat 88

(66-16, 37-4 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    9:00 PM ET, June 6, 2013

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 23 26 20 2392
    MIA 24 28 20 1688

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 20 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Mia: L. James 18 Pts, 18 Reb, 10 Ast

    Tony Parker leads Spurs past Heat in Finals opener

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- The San Antonio Spurs still have that winning NBA Finals formula of good defense and a little luck on offense.

    Tim Duncan overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker banked in a desperation jumper on a broken play with 5.2 seconds left, and the Spurs withstood LeBron James' triple-double to beat the Miami Heat 92-88 on Thursday night in a thrilling Game 1.

    Parker ended up with 21 points after referees reviewed his shot to make sure it just beat the shot clock, giving San Antonio a four-point edge in the game, which was close the whole way.

    "We got a little bit lucky in Game 1," Parker said. "Sometimes that's what it takes to win games."

    Playing for the championship for the first time since sweeping James' Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007 for their fourth title, the Spurs improved to 5-for-5 in Game 1s, hanging around for three quarters and then blowing by the defending champions midway through the fourth.

    Manu Ginobili, the third member of San Antonio's big three that has combined for 99 postseason victories together, finished with 13 points, and Danny Green had 12.

    "It doesn't matter how we're categorized -- old, veterans, whatever you call us, we're in the mix," the 37-year-old Duncan said.

    San Antonio turned up its defense in the fourth quarter, limiting Miami to seven points in the first 8½ minutes in returning to the Finals just the way it left -- with a victory over James.

    James had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in his second straight NBA Finals triple-double, but he shot only 7-of-16 against some good defense by Kawhi Leonard, and Miami's offense stalled in the fourth quarter.

    "The Spurs are the Spurs," James said. "They're going to put you in positions where you feel uncomfortable offensively and defensively, and every time you make a mistake, they're going to capitalize on it."

    Game 2 is Sunday night.

    James became a champion on this floor last year in Game 5 against Oklahoma City, but he hasn't forgotten his first taste of the Finals.

    The Spurs overwhelmed his Cavaliers, and James spoke Wednesday like someone who had payback in mind. He was 22 then, a fourth-year player headed for greatness but with holes in his game that San Antonio exploited.

    Revenge won't come easily -- if it comes at all.

    Dwyane Wade scored 17 points for the Heat but was shut out in the fourth quarter. Chris Bosh had only two of his 13 points in the final period.

    James shot an air ball on a 3-pointer on his first shot attempt, then was soon back to the step-in-front-of-him-at-your-own-risk force that has made him the game's best player.

    But San Antonio handled that and everything else Miami did, even while shooting only 42 percent from the field.

    "This is a hell of a game to play because both teams are so good offensively and defensively," Bosh said. "You can't have any letdowns."

    Forced to seven grueling games by the rugged Indiana Pacers in the East finals, the Heat clearly enjoyed the more wide-open flow of this game, making 18 of their first 30 shots. But the Spurs' defense simply got better as the game went along, forcing Miami into five turnovers in the final quarter.

    "I thought we were a little fatigued honestly in the fourth quarter," Wade said. "Looking around, we looked like a team that came off a seven-game series."

    Miami outshot and outrebounded San Antonio in the first half, yet led only 52-49. The Heat stayed ahead until Parker's free throws gave San Antonio a 77-76 edge with 7:47 remaining. James set up Bosh for a jumper on the next possession for his 10th assist, but Leonard made a follow shot and Parker turned James' turnover into a spinning layup and an 81-78 lead exactly halfway through the fourth.

    "We were just trying to hang," Parker said. "In the third quarter, the same thing. In the fourth quarter, we finally made some stops and made a couple of big shots."

    The lead grew to seven, but Miami was back within two and appearing ready to get the ball back when Parker lost control of the ball and his balance as the clock was set to expire. He gathered the ball and his footing, turning and tossing it in as the light above the basket turned red.

    "Tony's shot is one of those things that happens sometimes," Ginobili said. "We got lucky today."

    It was an entertaining start to a matchup that seemed years in the making between perennial contenders, the Spurs making their fifth appearance and the Heat their fourth. Commissioner David Stern called it "probably the most anticipated Finals in who knows, 30 years," likely more a bit of hyperbole in his final state of the league address than a comment meant to slight fans of the Celtics, Lakers or Michael Jordan's Bulls.

    It came with the promise of beautiful basketball between two fluid offenses that were built differently but share common beliefs and a healthy respect.

    The Spurs value system over stardom, never asking for attention -- and too often not getting it.

    The Heat have never been out of the spotlight from the moment James and Bosh showed up to join Wade, James vowing multiple titles as lights flashed and music boomed, showing they were going to be loud and impossible to ignore.

    The Heat have assembled a deep supporting cast loaded with 3-point shooters that turned them into a 66-win powerhouse this season, sending the Spurs to the Finals in the unfamiliar role of underdog.

    They handled it just fine.

    The Spurs hadn't played since May 27, when they finished off a sweep of Memphis in the Western Conference finals, and even coach Gregg Popovich said he didn't know what to expect.

    San Antonio turned it over on its first possession, leading to Wade's fast-break dunk. Then the Spurs ran off nine straight points, showing the rest helped more than any rust hurt.

    Only Duncan, who has remained among the NBA's best, looked out of sync. He missed all five shots in the first quarter before going to the bench late in the period with his second foul.

    The Heat had a 38-29 lead by the time he returned, and he quickly got on the board with an inside basket en route to a 12-point second quarter.

    Back in the arena where James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in last year's closeout game, fans arrived to white shirts reading "Witness Miami" draped over their seats.

    The Miami fans didn't like what they witnessed, many leaving as referees reviewed Parker's shot.

    Game notes

    Duncan joined Elgin Baylor, A.C. Green and John Salley as the only players in NBA history to make a Finals appearance in three decades. Salley is the only one to win titles in three decades. ... The teams combined for 12 turnovers, tying the record for the fewest in a playoff game. San Antonio had just four. ... Eleven of the Spurs' 15 players were making their Finals debuts. Only Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Matt Bonner were on the 2007 team. ... The Spanish national soccer team was at the game, along with former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, whose No. 13 jersey is retired in the arena.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    (fixes inverted numbers in chart) Tony Parker had an outstanding regular season and has been great in the postseason too. This has brought up the question of whether Parker is the best point guard in the NBA. The answer to that is a resounding "no." Chris Paul led all point guards in win shares per 48 minutes in the regular and postseason. Paul also led all points guards in regular season PER and postseason PER.
    Chris Bosh's win shares per 48 minutes this postseason is .135. That is 22.7% more than Dwyane Wade.
    Dwyane Wade pulled a disappearing act from the first half to the second half. In the first half, his PER was a staggering 34.8 but in the second half it was a palty 0.6.
    The Heat were outscored by 7 points in the 4th quarter of Game 1, scoring 72.5 points per 100 possessions, their worst 4th-quarter efficiency this postseason and 3rd worst in the last 3 seasons. Miami's worst offensive 4th quarter in the last 3 postseasons came in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The Heat were outscored by 7 in the 4th quarter as the Mavericks knotted the series at 2 apiece.
    NEXT LEVEL: Tony Parker was 2-of-4 on contested jumpers in the final 3:30, including a shot-clock beating shot with 5.2 seconds remaining. Prior to that stretch, Parker was 0-of-3 on contested jumpers, and the Spurs were 4-of-25 as a team.
    The Heat shot 9-of-15 (60.0%) with 21 points on drives to the basket when the driver shot in Game 1 but went 3-of-12 (25.0%) with 7 points on drive-and-kicks. The Spurs forced more passes on drives in the 2nd half, with the Heat passing on 53% of their drives (42% in the 1st half).
    Kawhi Leonard guarded LeBron James on 6 of his 7 2nd half field goal attempts in Game 1 and held James to 2-of-8 shooting and 6 points overall in the game. James' average field goal attempt was 16.4 feet from the basket against Leonard. Against all other defenders, James went 5-of-8 from the field with 12 points and average shot distance of 8.9 feet.
    - Heat were forced to pass on 53% of their drives (42% in 1st half). Heat shot 3-of-12 (25.0%) on drive-and-kicks on the game. - Heat held scoreless on the fastbreak; outscored Spurs 9-0 on the fast break in the 1st half. - Kawhi Leonard guarded LeBron James on 6 of James' 7 field goal attempts. Leonard guarded James on 2 of 9 shots in the 1st half (James shot 2-of-8 against Leonard overall). - Heat went 6-of-14 (42.9%) inside 5 feet in the 2nd half (9-of-12, 75.0% in 1st half) - The Spurs forced 6 turnovers in the 2nd half, 3 of which came on pick-and-roll plays. The Spurs forced 2 turnovers (1 on the pick-and-roll) in the 1st half.
    The Heat have won 10 consecutive games following a loss. They haven't dropped 2 straight since Jan. 8-10.
    The last player to record a triple-double in a NBA Finals loss and then go on to win the series was Larry Bird in 1986 against the Rockets.
    Tony Parker made 3-of-5 midrange jumpers in the 4th quarter (1-4 FG in 1st 3 quarters), including 2 buckets in the final 3:30. His midrange game had improved steadily since the Spurs' 1st title with Parker on the team in 2003. He is shooting 46% on such shots this postseason, the second-highest percentage of his postseason career.
    From Elias: LeBron James had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in the Game 1 loss to the Spurs. It is the 2nd time in his career that he's had those numbers in a playoff game and both of those came in LOSSES. Prior to LeBron, the last player to reach those numbers in a playoff game and LOSE was Billy Cunningham of the 76ers in 1971. In NBA history, a player has had 18-18-10 in a game 18 times. Those players have gone 13-5 in those games, with LeBron accounting for 2 of the 5 losses.
    Gregg Popovich is 20-3 all-time in best-of-seven playoff series when his team wins Game 1. His .870 series win percentage ranks only behind Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach among head coaches with a minimum of 15 series coached.
    From Elias: Tim Duncan totaled 20 points and 14 rebounds. Duncan is 37 years old --- only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had at least 20 points and 14 rebounds in an NBA Finals game at an older age.
    This is the 4th time the Heat have lost a Game 1 in the Bosh/James/Wade Era (since 2010-11). Heat went on to sweep the next 4 games in each of the previous 3 instances.
    In NBA Finals history, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series 71.2 percent (47-19) of the time. However, the Game 1 winner has lost each of the last two NBA Finals (Heat in 2011, Thunder in 2012).
    From Elias: LeBron James is the third player to register a triple-double in consecutive NBA Finals games (had a triple-double in Game 5 of 2012 NBA Finals). The others were Wilt Chamberlain in 1967 (April 14 and 16). And Magic Johnson in 1984 (June 3 and 6).
    LeBron James registers his 3rd career NBA Finals triple-double, moving into second place all-time.
    LeBron James registers his 10th career playoff triple-double, tied for third most all-time.

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