If you thought the Spurs hot fourth quarter of Game 1 was just all about LeBron James being off the court, I hope you were watching Game 3.
San Antonio shot an NBA record 76 percent for an NBA Finals half — they started out 19-of-21 in the first quarter, “cooled off” to shoot 25-of-33 for the half, they were 7-of-10 from three and Boris Diaw, inserted into the starting lineup for Tiago Splitter, was +22 in the first half.
The result was a 71-50 San Antonio lead at the half. Which is even more impressive when you remember they are on the road.
The Spurs first quarter was insane as they hit 9-of-10 inside 8 feet, 4-of-4 from three, and missed their only shot from the midrange (remember the Heat forced the Spurs into 23 midrange shots in Game 2, but they were getting to the rim again in Game 3.
Kawhi Leonard, who had not stood out in the first two games, had 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half. Danny Green added 13 after starting 6-of-6 shooting.
The Spurs at one point had the lead up to 25.
The Heat defense was not sharp, although it wasn’t as bad as the Spurs made it look — Miami miss some rotations and were late on some closeouts, but even when they defended the pick-and-roll well (as they did for stretches) it didn’t matter. San Antonio just hit the shot.
The Heat shot 56 percent themselves and got 16 points out of LeBron James, but they also had 10 turnovers.
The Heat went on a run at one point getting the lead down to “just 14” but the Spurs had pushed it up by the half again.