After one of the greatest offensive performances of all time, the San Antonio Spurs looked to make a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. The Spurs had momentum, as they destroyed Miami and were playing great as a team, while Miami was not playing together. In fact, Miami had 37 possessions of only 2 passes or less, while San Antonio had 25 possessions with 6+ passes!
The Heat were looking to start out great, as they needed a boost. However, that was not the case in game four. The Spurs started out of the game with a 13-4 lead, as the Spurs were getting okay looks, but the Heat were taking horrible shots, late in the shot clock. The Spurs were not moving the ball like crazy, but players were still moving and Parker, Green, and Leonard got some open looks from three. Green actually hit two three's in the first, with one being a relatively contested shot. On defense, the Spurs forced Lebron to take three's over Tim Duncan, Chris Bosh hook shots and long jumpers over Duncan, and almost all shots late in the shot clock.
The Heat quickly picked up the pace with a mini 6-0 run of 3 terrible Spurs possessions and Bosh and Wade hitting a couple of good shots. However, from the 5 minute mark, the Spurs went a much longer run than the Heat.
The Spurs used their bench to their advantage as the Spurs bench out scored the Heat 9-2 in the first (9-2 on the run), while the Heat's role players continued their struggles. By the end of the quarter, the Spurs had EIGHT different players scoring, and were walking into the 2nd with a 26-17 lead.
In the second, the Heat came out with more urgency and got some help with Ray Allen knocking down two three's. However, the Spurs unbelievable and consistent offense continued as Boris Diaw made a great, behind the back pass to Splitter for a wide open dunk. The Heat were playing with more urgency, but the question remained as the Heat might have been too late in finally waking up. The Spurs went up 42-28 halfway through the 2nd, and the Spurs were out-assisting the Heat 11-4, and shooting 19% better than the Heat. Not to mention, another great game from Kawhi Leonard who contained Lebron with 2 blocks, and Lebron shooting 3/7 with only 9 points.
Just as the Heat seemed to be gaining more energy, the Spurs just killed off everything, as the Heat had poor body language. Wade, who was 1-7 in the first half, looked sluggish, Lebron flung the ball to a referee, and American Airlines Arena was silent (Hi Luke).
Lebron looked dead, Wade was playing terrible, Bosh did nothing in the second quarter, and the Spurs were playing through their deep bench. By the end of the half, the Spurs bench had out-scored the Heat's bench 19-11 Not only was the bench playing better, but the stars were getting time to rest and not have to worry about losing momentum. The energy and rest came into hand as the stats tell the entire story:
Spurs: 56% shooting from field with 12 assists and 25 rebounds
Heat: 35% shooting from field with 4 assists and 14 rebounds
And, as the Heat exited through the locker room, the first sounds of boos came from their home-town fans...
Halftime: 55-36 Spurs
In the third quarter, Lebron came out firing as he scored 10 of 12 points for the Heat. Lebron was able to cut the lead to 13 points, but then the Spurs rested players came right back. Duncan, who had played 7 less minutes, and Diaw, who had played 5 less minutes, led a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 20 points.
Nearing the end of the third, down by 24 points, boo's started to shatter American Airlines Arena. Honestly, the fourth quarter did not matter to me or anyone else, as the game was over. The Spurs were up 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Done.
The Spurs have the better team, while the Heat do not have enough players to defeat the stacked Spurs line up. San Antonio had 13 players scoring regularly, 6 with at least 8 points, the Heat had 10, with 5 scoring at least 8 points. Miami had 7 assists by the end of the third, while the Spurs finished the third with 16, Miami was shooting 39% from the field, while San Antonio finished with 54% from the field. Anyway you look at it, the Spurs had more energy, won in every statistical category, and were simply put, the better team.
Can Lebron, who scored 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting (Through only 32 minutes) and 19 points on 7/8 shooting in the third, lead the Heat over the stacked Spurs team?
The answer to me is simple: No. The Spurs have a top five, possibly top three, bench/role playing team in the history of basketball. For the Heat, they had Lebron. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, did not step up. The Spurs had 9 players step up. At the end of the game, the Spurs had 25 assists, had shot 57%, and grabbed 44 boards. On the other end, Miami had only 13 assists, 45 FG%, and only 27 rebounds.
Don't scream and yell at Lebron, praise the Spurs, and question the other 11 players on the Miami Heat. Either way, at the end of the day, no comeback was great enough to overcome the massive 24 point deficit faced at the end of the third. The Spurs went on to win 107-86 and have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.