NBA Finals Game Four: San Antonio Spurs 107 – Miami Heat 86
The Miami Heat’s quest for a third straight NBA Championship is now in serious trouble. After getting trounced by 19 in Game Three, things didn’t get any better for the two-time defending champions as they lost Game Four on their home court by 21 points. The San Antonio Spurs now are up 3-1 in the series and they’ll head back home for a potential closeout in Game Five.
In Game Three, it was all about Kwahi Leonard. Leonard scored a career high 29 points and was the most effective player on the court for either team. The former San Diego Aztec would again lead the Spurs in scoring, though this time he had just 20 points. Instead, the Spurs dominated from the tip off with a complete team effort. Every player who saw action on Thursday night scored for the Spurs, as they showed the depth that their bench has.
Tony Parker had 19 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Patty Mills came off the bench with 14 points of his own. This was an incredible show of talent from every member of the Spurs, as they passed the ball around and had 25 team assists. In comparison, the Heat had just 13 as a team.
Kawhi Leonard also had 14 rebounds to lead the Spurs in that category, including a massive put-back slam at the end of the first half. The Spurs were up by 19 at that point, making them the first team in NBA history to lead by more than 15 points in back-to-back road playoff games in the Finals.
With the Heat down at half, LeBron James came out in the third quarter and scored 10 of Miami’s first 12 points. James would lead the Heat with 28, though he didn’t get nearly the amount of support he is use to. Dwyane Wade had just four points through three quarters and finished the game with 10. Chris Bosh had 12 points, but only four rebounds on the defensive glass. The only other player to score in double digits for the Heat was James Jones off the bench, as he finished with 11. Once again, Mario Chalmers was nearly non-existent, as he finished with just four points.
The Heat’s losses in Game Three and Game Four mark the first time in 48 occasions where they have losed in back-to-back games in the playoffs. But what is likely more troublesome is now they’ll have to win three straight if they plan to add their third championship in as many years. The Heat were favored by 5.5 going into Game Four, a spread they won’t be as lucky to have going into Game Five. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers to find out where the Heat and Spurs will be before tipoff on Sunday.
The Heat and Spurs have gone back and forth all year in regards to favorites to win the NBA Championship. However, we are now just one game away from that all being over. Now the Spurs find themselves at 1/22 odds to win it all, while the Heat will have plenty to overcome with their 19/2 odds.
Things have fallen apart quickly for the Heat over the last four days. If LeBron James wants to avoid having a 2-3 record in the Finals for his career, he’ll need much more support from the Big Three and the rest of the Miami Heat for the next week. If not, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard are going to dethrone the defending champions in impressive fashion.