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Spurs seek 2-0 series lead Sunday
By: Zach Cohen - StatFox
Published: 6/8/2014  at  5:59:00 AM
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MIAMI HEAT (66-32)


NBA Finals
Game 2 - San Antonio leads series 1-0
Tip-off: Sunday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -4.5, Total: 199

The Heat look to even up the NBA Finals on Sunday night when they take the floor for a pivotal Game 2 against the Spurs.

Miami and San Antonio played one of the best series of all-time last year in the NBA Finals and the rematch was certainly no disappointment. Thursday's series opener was extremely tight until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when the Spurs took advantage of a LeBron James-less Heat team and went on to win 110-95 as 5.5-point favorites. James (27.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.9 APG in playoffs) began to cramp up late in the fourth quarter and was in too much pain to return. The air conditioning in the arena was not functioning and it got as hot as 90 degrees by the time the game was through. The outcome dropped Miami to 23-24-2 ATS on the road this season, and improved San Antonio to 28-24 ATS at home this season. Over the past three seasons, the Spurs are 4-2 SU and ATS when hosting in this series, but the Heat are still 8-5 SU (6-7 ATS) overall in the series. Eight of these 13 games have gone Over the total. Also in the past three seasons, Miami is 7-1 ATS when trailing in a playoff series, and is 5-1 ATS this season when revenging a double-digit road loss against an opponent. However, San Antonio is 24-6 ATS over the past three seasons when scoring 105+ points in three straight games. There are no significant injuries for either team in this game.

The Heat were on the verge of stealing Game 1 before SF LeBron James had to leave the court. James was excellent, as he had 25 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in the 33 minutes he played. Unfortunately for Miami, it lost its leader and played the final minutes without him. In those minutes, there were a number of defensive breakdowns and the team was completely out of sync on offense. PF Chris Bosh (15.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG in playoffs) continued his hot shooting from the Eastern Conference Finals, finishing with 18 points (7-of-11 FG, 3-of-4 three) and nine rebounds in 34 minutes. If Bosh is able to consistently stretch the floor, James will have a lot more room to attack the basket. SG Dwyane Wade (18.7 PPG, 4.1 APG, 3.8 RPG in playoffs) also benefits from the extra space. Wade had 19 points (8-of-18 FG) in 33 minutes, but when James left the game, Wade was not as aggressive as he should have been. He will need to really lock in Sunday and do everything he can to win the battle at the shooting guard position for the Heat. SG Ray Allen (9.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG) continues to be a huge spark off the bench for Miami in these playoffs. Allen had 16 points and five steals in 32 minutes in Game 1, and if he keeps up his hot shooting, Miami will be very tough to beat now that James is healthy. F Rashard Lewis (4.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG in playoffs) had 10 points in Game 1 after averaging 15.5 PPG in the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. His play as a stretch four has been a revelation for Miami this postseason.

The Spurs have waited all season long for a rematch with the Heat, and in Game 1 they were amped up. PF Tim Duncan (16.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG in playoffs) was unstoppable in the post for the Spurs, finishing with 21 points (9-of-10 FG) and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. Duncan was catching the ball with excellent positioning and found himself with great looks all game. The turning point for San Antonio, however, came when SG Danny Green (9.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) started to heat up. Green got off to a slow start on Thursday, but in the fourth quarter he could not miss. The sharpshooter finished the game with 13 points (3-of-7 threes), three rebounds, two steals and one block in 28 minutes. With the shooting of Green combined with the slashing ability of SG Manu Ginobili (14.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.8 SPG in playoffs), the Spurs were unstoppable at the shooting guard position. Ginobili wasnít just scoring for himself, but was also the teamís best playmaker in Game 1. The Argentinean finished the game with 16 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes. If Ginobili is winning his matchup with Dwyane Wade, the Spurs will continue to have the edge in this series. PG Tony Parker (17.3 PPG, 5.1 APG in playoffs) did not seem any bit slowed down by an ankle injury he suffered against the Thunder last round, as he played 37 minutes and finished with 19 points (8-of-15 FG, 2-of-2 threes) and eight assists. PF Boris Diaw (9.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.9 APG in playoffs) did a little bit of everything for the Spurs despite struggling with his shot (1-for-5 FG). Diaw chipped in 10 rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes of play.

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