Behind 46 points in the paint and stellar defense, the Spurs cool off the red-hot Heat in Texas
By Dave Holcomb
Much to the dismay of TNT analyst Charles Barkley, San Antonio defeated Miami, 111-87, on Thursday night for the team’s fifth straight victory and eighth in nine games.
For those fans who have been doubting the Spurs, saying they are too old, too slow to win again in the playoffs, San Antonio might be reaching its potential at the right time.
San Antonio ended the first quarter on a 15-6 run and never looked back. At one point, Miami did get within five halfway through the third, but the Spurs outscored the Heat 29-13 in the fourth. It was quite possibly the worst quarter for the Heat all season as the team turned the ball over 10 times.
Fans, however, should not concentrate on the Miami struggles, James six for 18 shooting, five turnovers and Wade just 16 points or should they over analysis James ditching the mask early in the first quarter. Rather fans should commend San Antonio for a stellar game against a top-tier NBA opponent, something the team has struggled with all season.
Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Fellow forward Boris Diaw was a perfect 5-for-5, nailing two 3-pointers and finished with 16. Tony Parker fueled the run in the first quarter, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the first. But the most important player of them all, Kawhi Leonard scored just 11 points, but frustrated James all night with his defense and held the MVP candidate to 33 percent shooting.
Without Chris Bosh‘s game-high 24 points, this one would not have even been a contest.
The regular season may mean very little to San Antonio, but this win probably feels nice. The Spurs proved once again that if its team is healthy, the Spurs can beat anyone in the league.