Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (+1, 186.5)
Spurs lead best-of-seven series 2-1.
The status of San Antonio point guard Tony Parker is up in the air as the host Spurs attempt to take a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in Thursday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Parker underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday and the results displayed a mild strain of his right hamstring and he’s listed as day to day. Miami attempts to rebound from a 113-77 loss that stands as the third-largest margin of defeat in Finals history.
Heat forward LeBron James is blaming himself for the 36-point loss after he scored under 20 points for the third consecutive game. He promises a much better effort in Game 4. “I take full responsibility for our team’s performance (Tuesday) night,” James said. “Me as a leader, I can’t afford to perform like I did and expect us to win on the road. It’s that simple. So I’m putting all the pressure on my chest, on my shoulders, to come through for our team. That’s the way it is.” San Antonio made an NBA Finals record 16 3-pointers on Tuesday and guard Danny Green is 16-for-23 from behind the arc in the series after making seven in Game 3.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE HEAT: James is averaging a pedestrian 16.7 points and making just 38.9 percent of his field-goal attempts. The Heat were outscored by 32 points with him on the floor in Game 3, an embarrassing fact for the four-time NBA MVP. James isn’t receiving much help from center Chris Bosh, who hasn’t scored more than 13 points in the series and is averaging just 9.3 points over the past seven games. Guard Dwyane Wade also is having an underwhelming series, averaging 14.3 points. Veteran swingman Mike Miller scored 15 points on 5-of-5 3-point shooting in Game 3 and has made eight straight 3-pointers over the past two games. He is 10-for-11 shooting in the series, including 9-of-10 from 3-point range.
ABOUT THE SPURS: Parker’s ailing hamstring created more playing time for reserve Gary Neal, who made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points in Game 3. Neal and Green combined for 51 points and San Antonio also received a superb game from forward Kawhi Leonard, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Leonard is averaging 11 points and 12 rebounds in the series and has excelled on the defensive end against James, frustrating the Miami star with his tenacious defense and long arms. “I’m studying my team concepts and just buying into our game plan,” Leonard said. “That’s all I’m doing – playing hard.” Leonard and power forward Tim Duncan both have grabbed 10 or more rebounds in all three games. Duncan is averaging 13.7 points and 13 rebounds.
* Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
* Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
* Under is 19-6 in Heat last 25 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
* Under is 22-6 in the last 28 meetings.
1. San Antonio’s 113 points marked only the second time Miami allowed 100 or more points in 19 postseason games.
2. Heat G Mario Chalmers was scoreless in Game 3 after leading Miami with 19 points in its Game 2 win.
3. The Spurs are 26-for-52 from 3-point range over the past two games.