2013 NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs win Game 1 thriller over Miami Heat, 92-88

2013 NBA Finals
2013 NBA Finals
Jun 6 2013 Miami FL USA San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili 20 drives to the basket against Miami Heat center Chris Bosh 1 during game one of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena San Antonio Spurs won 92 88 Mike SegarPool Photo USA TODAY Sports

After a back and forth contest, the San Antonio Spurs prevailed over the Miami Heat in the first game of the NBA Finals. Despite a triple double from LeBron James, the Heat now find themselves without home court advantage.

Spurs outlast Heat in Game 1 of NBA Finals, 92-88
The Miami Heat appeared well on their way to another playoff win, but even despite a triple-double by LeBron James, they couldn’t close the deal. Behind 20 points and 14 rebounds from Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs hung on for a 92-88 victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

James had 18 points, 18 rebounds, and ten assists in defeat.

The Heat led after three quarters, but it was in a key final period where the Spurs made their move. San Antonio went on a 12-3 run and with only 3:30 left, led 85-79. That lead was cut to 90-88 with 31 seconds to go after a LeBron James free throw. But on the next possession, Tony Parker banked in an incredible jump shot with five seconds to play to extend the lead to four. That resulted in the final margin of victory and heading into Game 2, the Spurs have taken the early series lead.

Parker finished the contest with 21 points and six assists. The starting guard was also without a single turnover.

Losing the first game was just about the worst thing that could have happened to the Heat. Even if Miami wins Game 2, they then will face the daunting task of needing to steal a game on the road just to extend the series enough to get back home. Unlike the other playoff series’, the Finals is played using the 2-3-2 format. Even if San Antonio can’t win the next contest, they’ll still get a chance to close out the series on their home court.

Game 2 suddenly becomes a must win for Miami. No, it’s not a true must win, of course, but if the Heat fall short in the second game, they’ll need to take two out of three on San Antonio’s home court – not impossible, but extremely difficult.

Dwyane Wade, often criticized in this year’s playoffs, had a solid game with 17 points. But when the Heat needed him most, he didn’t make an impact. After scoring the first basket of the third quarter, Wade went 1-5 the rest of the way, scoring only two more points. He was without a basket in the fourth quarter and there’s no doubt that Miami could have used a bit more from him late in the game.

With the long layoff after their Western Conference Finals sweep over the Memphis Grizzlies, it was unknown how the Spurs would respond in this game. But San Antonio showed few signs of rust in their first game in nearly two weeks. The Spurs last suited up on May 27th, but generally played pretty well. The team shot only 42% from the field, but made 83% of their free throw attempts. More importantly, the Spurs committed only four turnovers in the entire game.

One area where the Heat surprisingly held their own was on the boards. Thoroughly dominated on the glass by the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, Miami outrebounded San Antonio 46-37. But other than James, who had 18 boards, no other Heat player had more than five.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Miami.

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Anson Whaley
Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');