Five observations from the San Antonio Spurs’ 110-95 win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals on Thursday night:
1. A/C failure cramps LeBron’s style. The “Spurs turn up temperature on Heat” headline wrote itself after a power outage inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center led to an air conditioning failure and caused temps to rise above 90 degrees by the fourth quarter. The added warmth presumably led to the leg cramp that forced LeBron James out of the game with four minutes remaining and Miami trailing 94-92. James didn’t return, and the Spurs outscored the Heat 16-3 the rest of the way.
2. Spurs sharp from downtown. The Spurs and Heat both shot over 40% from 3-point range in last season’s NBA Finals. Both teams picked up where they left off in Game 1 of this series, though the Spurs were a bit better. Miami went 12 for 29 (41.4%) from beyond the arc, while San Antonio went 13 of 25 (52.0%), including a ridiculous 6 for 6 in the fourth quarter. Five Spurs made at least two 3-pointers, and it was back-to-back treys from the San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker in the game’s final two minutes that sealed the win.
3. Tony looks terrific. After missing most of the Spurs’ series-clinching win against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals due to a sprained ankle, Parker not only started Game 1; he contributed 19 points and eight assists in a game-high 37 minutes. Parker may have something to prove after a subpar showing in last year’s finals, and if he continues to perform like he did on Thursday night, the Spurs will likely be on their way to their fifth NBA title.
4. Game 1 MVP: Several Spurs are worthy of the honor, but let’s give it to Manu Ginobili, who had 11 assists (the Heat had 16 assists as a team) to go with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes off the bench.
5. Questions for Game 2 (Sunday at 5pm on ABC15): The Spurs stole Game 1 in Miami during last year’s NBA Finals but lost the series in seven games; will history repeat itself? Can the Spurs keep winning if they turn the ball over 22 times per game as they did on Thursday night? Will someone other than Ray Allen (16 points in Game 1) step up for the Heat off the bench? Will the A/C be functional in time for Game 2 – and if so, will it – ahem – cool off the Spurs?