Spurs search for answers
June 9, 2014
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San Antonio Spurs (75-27) at Miami Heat (67-32)
Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:05 p.m. ET
Sportsbook.ag Line and Total: Miami -4 (-115) & 198.5
The Spurs head to South Beach for Game 3 on Tuesday knowing that they must beat the Heat on the road at some point in order to have a chance to win the NBA championship.
After leaving the Game 1 loss with a leg cramp, SF LeBron James left his mark in a positive way in Game 2. James scored 35 points with 10 rebounds to lead Miami to a crucial 98-96 road win on Sunday despite San Antonio being a four-point favorite in the game. The Spurs missed four crucial free throws in a row when their lead was 87-85 in the fourth and the game’s momentum took a permanent swing in the Heat's favor.
The series now heads back to Miami with the series tied at one game apiece. The Heat are 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS versus the Spurs when playing at AmericanAirlines Arena over the past three seasons. Overall in that time, Miami is 9-5 SU with both teams having won seven games ATS.
San Antonio is 14-3 ATS this season after a game where it made at least 12 three-point shots, and over the past two seasons, the Spurs are 13-4 ATS off an upset loss as a home favorite.
However, the Heat are 12-4 ATS this season when playing five or less games in 14 days, and are 15-5 ATS in home games as a No. 2 seed in the playoffs over the past three seasons.
The Spurs had their sights set on winning both of their home games and heading to Miami with a 2-0 series lead, but now they desperately need to win a road game just to give themselves a chance in a Game 7 showdown.
PF Tim Duncan (16.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG in playoffs) continues to play extremely well in the post for San Antonio, finishing Game 2 with 18 points and 15 rebounds. San Antonio abandoned Duncan late in the game, so the club should look to get him more touches in Game 3.
PG Tony Parker (17.5 PPG, 5.2 APG in playoffs) had 21 points (8-of-15 FG, 3-of-6 threes) and seven assists in 35 minutes of play in Game 2. Parker took an elbow to the rib area late in the contest and never was comfortable after that. The day off should be good for the Spurs' point guard, as he will need to be aggressive early in Game 3 if he is going to help his team pick up a huge win.
SG Manu Ginobili (14.7 PPG, 4.4 APG, 1.8 SPG in playoffs) has been giving Miami some serious problems in this series with his slashing ability. Ginobili had 19 points (7-of-15 FG) and four assists in just 28 minutes of play in Game 2. The Heat guards are having trouble with his shifty style of play, and San Antonio should continue to feed him the ball and get him some buckets in transition, as his outside shot has been inconsistent this postseason (43% FG, but 38% threes).
The Heat were right there in Game 1 and would’ve had a prime opportunity to steal that game had SF LeBron James (27.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.9 SPG in playoffs) stayed healthy. James, however, came back with one of the more memorable performances of his career in Game 2, producing 35 points (14-of-22 FG, 3-of-3 threes), 10 rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes of play. The cramping issues are now behind the forward and his jump shot has looked as good as ever as of late, as James has knocked down 61% FG, including 5-of-6 threes over his past three contests where he's averaging 28.3 PPG.
SG Dwyane Wade (18.4 PPG, 4.1 APG, 4.0 RPG, 1.4 SPG in playoffs) had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists in Sunday's win. But the Heat were not getting Wade the ball as much as they could have, and when he did have the ball, he was forcing the issue a little much. The shooting guard had five turnovers in the game and will need to have more of an impact scoring the basketball in Game 3.
PF Chris Bosh (15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG in playoffs) continued his hot shooting on Sunday, finishing with 18 points (6-of-11 FG, 1-of-2 threes) in 36 minutes. Bosh hit a huge three late in the game from the right wing that would ultimately win Miami the game. He is averaging 21.2 PPG (57% FG, 10-of-20 threes) and 7.2 RPG over the past five games of these playoffs.
PF Rashard Lewis (5.1 PPG, 2.0 RPG in playoffs) continues to make a huge impact offensively for the Heat, as he finished Game 2 with 14 points on 5-of-9 FG (3-of-7 threes). Lewis has now scored in double-figures in four straight contests, averaging 13.8 PPG on 50% FG and 48% threes during this hot streak.
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