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The Spurs Leave Home Satisfied, in Game 5.

Game 5

In game 4 the Big 3 showed up for Miami and led their team to a sure victory tying the series 2-2. LeBron James and Dywane Wade both exploded for 30+ plus point performances. The fate of the series will most likely rest on game 5. Miami will either have a lead heading home and will only have to win 1 of 2 to capture their second title in 3 years, or San Antonio can put pressure on Miami as they head back to the east coast.

Greg Popovich inserted Manu Ginoboli into the starting lineup for the Spurs in order to get him started in the series. The Spurs ran an offensive clinic on Miami in the first quarter going on a 12-0 run at one point to put their lead to 12. The Spurs spread the wealth on offense. Parker, Ginobli, and Duncan each scored 7 points while Miami had to rely entirely on their Big 3, who scored 17 of the teams 19 points. The Spurs lead 32-19 going into the second quarter with no signs of the pace slowing down.

The second quarter was more of the same as the Spurs continued pushing the ball and attacking early in the clock. The Spurs continued to run their clinic and stretched their lead to almost 20 with Manu running the point guard in Tony Parker’s stead. Danny Green made 3 3 pointers to tie an NBA record for 3 pointers made in a finals series. The Spurs Big 3 and friends played an even half with four players in double figures going into the 3rd quarter. The Miami Heat didn’t just awe in the glory of the Spurs shooting, instead they pushed back and shrank the lead to 9 going into the next period. The Heat’s Big 3 combined for 40 points, but the team’s defense allowed the Spurs to shoot 62 percent.

The Heat raced out of the gate forcing turnovers and finishing went on a quick 7-0 run. The Spurs, unshaken, quickly turned out 5 points, including a 3 pointer by Green to break the record. Miami continued to challenge the Spurs throughout the quarter. The lead was down to one point and then the Spurs went on an 8-0 run to pull away from the Heat once again with 1:39 left in the quarter. The Spurs played tough, contesting every shot the Heat took at the rim. Ginobili capped off the quarter with a contested right handed layup (he is left handed) to end the quarter. The Spurs after leading 75-74 at one point now lead 87-75 going into the 4th quarter. Manu Ginobili proved his coach right as he amassed 20 points and 9 assists at this point easily being the player of the game.

The Spurs suffocated the paint and stifled the Heat while stretching their lead to 18 points. Over the quarter both teams pushed back and forth with Miami closing the lead to single digits with less than three minutes left to play. It was only fitting that  the dagger to put the game out of reach  made by Danny Green who capped off his night with another 3 to put the game out of reach. The Spurs played in their final home game of the season and did not disappoint their fans winning 114-104. Every member of the Spurs starting lineup scored in double figures led by Parker who recorded 26 points and 5 assists. Manu Ginobli finished his breakout performance with 24 points and 10 assists. Danny Green continued his break out series adding in 24 points shooting 6/10 on 3 pointers. LeBron James and Dywane Wade each scored 25 points. Ray Allen scored 21 and Chris Bosh scored 16. The Heat didn’t let this game go; it’s just that they were completely out competed by the Spurs. The Spurs will head to Miami to play potentially two games and only need to win one to earn their fifth NBA championship.

This may be the last go around for the Spurs classic Big 3 and depending on the results of the series could be the last go around of Miami’s rendition of a Big 3. The teams will return to action on Tuesday, June 18th at 9 pm eastern standard time on ABC.

Erick S. Taylor Jr., Guest Columnist

Photo Credit: Eric Gay/AP

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