Apparently not hindered by their late arrival, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker contributed on every Spurs point as San Antonio jumped to an 11-4 lead on its way to a 50-44 halftime lead in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
But Gary Neal stole the show with his 4-of-6 3-point shooting – including a buzzer beater to end the half – on his way to a game-high 14 points. Duncan has 10 points and seven rebounds and Parker has six points and seven assists for the Spurs, which haven’t trailed.
San Antonio went cold in the second quarter, starting the period 1-for-11 and allowing the Heat to climb within 27-26 before pushing its lead. The Heat made another run later in the quarter as Mike Miller (3-of-3 on 3-pointers) got hot, but other than Miller and Dwyane Wade (12 points on 5-of-7 shooting), Miami hasn’t sustained much offense.
LeBron James (2-for-8) and Chris Bosh (3-for-8) have both been shaky, and LeBron in particular must play better for the Heat to come back in the second half.
Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.
For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.