Friday, June 7, 2013
Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals went down last night, and boy was it a doozie! In one of the best Finals games I've ever seen, both teams played very solid basketball, and neither team led by double digits. After the Spurs went up by 7 very early, Miami would take control, and lead for most of the first half. Actually they would lead for most of the game, but only by a handful of points. Each team would make runs, and show superior energy, and then the other would counter with something just as exciting. Kawhi Leonard did a great job on LeBron for most of the night, as he only had 18 points on 7 of 16 shooting, but amassed 18 rebounds as well. Completing his third career Finals triple-double, he also had 10 assists. The problem is no other Heat player had more than 5 boards, nor more than 4 assists.
Shots fell for them for a while, but when it came down to the 4th quarter, well.. the Spurs defense cranked it up a few notches, and Tony Parker seemed to take over the game. Wade had 17, and Allen & Bosh each scored 13, but Miami critically turned it over 4 times in the 4th quarter, as well. The Spurs on the other hand had only 4 turnovers all game (tied an NBA Finals record), and along with Miami's 8, the total of 12 turnovers SET a new NBA Finals record.
San Antonio held Miami to 16 in the 4th quarter, and were able to score 23 themselves. So after trailing by 1 for a quarter, and then by 3 at both the half and 3rd quarter break, the Spurs were able to finally take the lead mid-4th. In back-to-back possessions a LeBron turnover led to a sweet Tony Parker spin move for a layup, to go up by 5. Then Ray Allen was fouled on a 3-pt. attempt by Danny Green, who had 4 threes of his own. Allen sunk them all, but on the ensuing possession, Tony dribbled-out the clock on a broken play, but hit a turn-around bank shot, under the block of LeBron, with less than half of 0.1 showing on the shot clock.
Literally by a fingertip, the Spurs led by 4 with 5 seconds to go, and held on for the 92-88 win. Tony Parker finished with 21 points on 9 of 18 shooting, 6 assists, and no turnovers in 40 minutes of Finals basketball. Duncan's hot 2nd quarter paved the way for 20 points of his own on 8 of 19 shooting, and he also grabbed 14 rebounds. Manu, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard added 13, 12, and 10 respectively.
Here's ESPN's game-1 box score..
Game-2 is Sunday night at 7pm - again in Miami.