Sunday, June 15, 2014

Spurs Axed Heat in Game 5 to win 5th NBA Championship

In Game 5 at the AT&T Center on Sunday, San Antonio knocked off the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, 104-87, closing out this lopsided series in dominant fashion.
For the past two years, the Miami Heat have been able to take their opponent's best punch. They made a habit of falling behind in playoff series, then unleashing a vicious counterattack from their star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Not this time. Not even close.
The San Antonio Spurs clinched the NBA title here on their home court Sunday night, knocking off the two-time defending champions in dominant fashion, 104-87, to win the best-of-seven series in a brisk five games—and perhaps even put the future of the world's best basketball player in doubt.
For coach Gregg Popovich and his San Antonio team—now owners of five of the league's past 16 Larry O'Brien trophies—the victory was a form of redemption. The Spurs lost the Finals in seven games to Miami last year, but they were mere seconds away from earning last season's title, too. (So close, in fact, that NBA security officials began roping off the court to prepare for what figured to be a Spurs' trophy presentation on the court). But Miami's Ray Allen changed the course of history by hitting a game-tying triple in the closing seconds to tie that Game 6, and the Heat won Game 7.
The all-around play of Kawhi Leonard may be the biggest story, though, as the young Spur spearheaded the team's charge in the past three wins. Leonard had a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds in taking home NBA Finals MVP honors.
Yes, the Heat have the best player in the game in LeBron James, who had 31 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Sometimes, the biggest stars can help a team with less depth overcome even the most formidable foes. Unfortunately for the Miami faithful, the other contributors to their All-Star triumvirate were nowhere to be found.
LeBron James had 17 first-quarter points to help the Heat get off to a fast start. He finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who lost their spot atop the NBA to the team that had it so long.
"They played exquisite basketball this series and in particular these last three games and they are the better team. There's no other way to say it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The Spurs won four titles in nine years, but hadn't been back on top since 2007, making Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" an appropriate song choice after the final buzzer.
Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich have been here for all of them, and it was the fourth for Tony Parker and Ginobili, who with Duncan are once again the reigning the Big Three in the NBA.

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