HEAT Survive Star-less Spurs
By: Steve Rawnsley
After all of the controversy surrounding the game, the Spurs gave the Heat everything they could handle. In case you missed it, the Spurs were playing their final game of a six game road trip, and sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Danny Green back to San Antonio.
With Battier out, the Heat started Rashard Lewis, and they got off to a quick start up 16-6. The Spurs got their vaunted offensive system running after that, and started draining the three point shots they are so good at. They hit four of their next five threes to take a 27-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The much improved second unit with the addition of Ray Allen got off to a quick start in the second quarter. Ray Allen and Chris Bosh scored the next ten points for the Heat. The Heat then brought Wade and LeBron back for the second half of the second quarter, and the Heat’s big three proceeded to score the rest of the points in the second quarter. It was a low scoring first half with the Heat in the
The Spurs scored the first six points of the second half to take the lead. The Heat made a concerted effort to run out to the Spurs three point shooters, and the Heat took a one point lead going into the time out after the six minute mark. However the Spurs took a one point lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to a quick 6-2 run to end the third quarter.
The question going into the fourth quarter seemed to be not whether or not the Heat would win, but whether the Heat could actually lose this. As the fourth quarter got going the question only started to become louder. The second unit struggled in the fourth quarter, and the Spurs took a four point lead before the Heat took a time out at the six minute mark.
The whispers about the game being in question started to become yells as the Spurs had a five point lead heading into the final two minutes. Then LeBron was well, LeBron at the end of the game, and showed why he is the best player in the game. In the final eight minutes of the game LeBron had seven
points, and three assists, and really had a hand in every play including the steal with twenty seconds left, that really gave the Heat some breathing room.
MVP: LeBron James
The elephant in the room going into the fourth quarter was who do the Spurs go to at crunch time. There was no question who the Heat would go to in crunch time, and he delivered. He finished the game with twenty-three points nine rebounds seven assists, and four steals including the big steal against Gary Neal. Without LeBron the Heat do not outscore the Spurs by ten in the final two minutes.
Stat of the night: Heat +10 in final two minutes
The game was in big doubt going into crunch time. The Heat then proceeded to outscore the Spurs in the final two minutes of the game in large part to LeBron James.