Miami At San Antonio
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Sunday, June 15, 2014
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs are one victory away from their fifth NBA title and can claim their first championship since 2007 when they host the Miami Heat in Sunday’s Game 5. San Antonio rolled to back-to-back dominating wins in Miami to take a 3-1 series lead and is in good shape when you consider no NBA team has ever recovered from that deficit in NBA Finals play. The Spurs’ three victories are by an average of 18.3 points.
Heat standout LeBron James was among the stunned players over how easily San Antonio dismantled Miami the past two games. “I mean, they smashed us,” James told reporters. “Two straight home games, got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these two games. It’s just that simple.” Spurs veteran Tim Duncan expects a fierce effort from the Heat as San Antonio attempts to avenge last season’s finals loss to the Heat. “We’re going to use our home court and we’re going to come with the same focus that we did in these last two games, and hopefully close it out at home,” Duncan told reporters.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE HEAT: James is averaging 27.5 points in the series and is very much aware that no team has ever recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals. He asserts that the players only have themselves to blame for the hole Miami finds itself in but doesn’t want to look past Sunday and ponder the historical aspect. “It’s never been done before but we’re still a confident bunch, even though our heads are lowered down right now,” James told reporters. “Of course, being down 3-1 and losing two straight games at home, that’s just human nature. But we’ve still got to go out and play on Sunday.”
ABOUT THE SPURS: Small forward Kawhi Leonard produced back-to-back stellar efforts in Miami – averaging 24.5 points and nine rebounds in the two games – but versatile Boris Diaw has also been a valuable performer since San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich inserted him into the starting lineup for Game 3. Diaw had a solid all-around game with eight points, nine rebounds and nine assists in Game 4 and is averaging 6.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the series. “He knows what’s going on most all the time,” Popovich told reporters. “At the offensive end he’s a passer. He understands mismatches. He knows time and score. At the defensive end, he knows when to help. He’s active. So he just helps the whole team have a better IQ, I think.”
1. Duncan is averaging 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds in the series and has three double-doubles with Thursday’s being the 158th of his postseason career to break Magic Johnson’s record.
2. The Heat have committed 62 turnovers in the series with James (18) and G Dwyane Wade (15) being the biggest culprits.
3. San Antonio G Danny Green was 10-of-13 from the field in the two games in Miami and is 9-of-17 from 3-point range in the series.
PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Heat 95
Stats and Records
San Antonio Off vs
105.6 Points For
97.0 Points Against