The Spurs were amazing in the first half of Game 3.The San Antonio Spurs had one of those once in a lifetime nights shooting the basketball on their way to a Game 3 win in the NBA Finals.
The Spurs made 19 of their first 21 and 25 of their first 33 shots from the field, giving them a lead large enough to withstand the Heat’s repeated comeback attempts. Their 76 percent shooting in the first half set a Finals record for field-goal percentage in any half.
The Spurs lead the series 2-1 and have won consecutive road games for the first time this postseason.
The Heat had their franchise-record 11-game home playoff win streak snapped. This was their first home playoff loss since Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The first three wins in the streak had been Games 2, 6 and 7 in last year’s Finals against the Spurs.
Offensive Key: Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 29 points for the Spurs on 10 of 13 shooting from the field.
Spurs Offense on Drives
Leonard had only three first-quarter points in the first two games of this series, but had 16 in Game 3.
Leonard and Danny Green led the driving attack for the Spurs. The duo combined to shoot 7-of-7 with 14 points on 14 drives in Game 3. In the first two games the duo combined for 1-of-4 shooting with 4 points on 12 drives.
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that the only players to score more points in a Finals game than Kawhi Leonard's 29 at the age of 22 or younger are Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Alvan Adams, and Tommy Heinsohn.
Defensive Key: Containing Bosh
Bosh had 39 touches of the basketball on the offensive end in Game 1 and 40 in Game 2, but was held to only 12 in 34 minutes in Game 3.
James had his streak of six straight 25-point NBA Finals games come to an end. His seven turnovers were an NBA Finals career high.
20 Pts, 5 Assists, 5 Rebounds & 5 Steals
NBA Finals Game, Last 30 Seasons
The Spurs were fortunate in one regard
The Heat shot 52 percent from the field. Entering the night, Miami was 146-14 in the Big 3 Era (since 2010-11) when shooting 50 percent or better in any game, including 85-7 at home.
The Heat are 2-0 in postseason series when trailing 2-1 in the James-Wade-Bosh era. The Spurs are 15-3 in best-of-7 series when leading 2-1 in the Gregg Popovich era. One of those losses was in last year’s Finals.
The Game 3 winner of a tied NBA Finals series goes on to win the series 83 percent of the time (30-6). Last year, however, the Spurs and Heat were tied 1-1 - San Antonio won Game 3 but went on to lose the series.
But also of note from Elias: When the home team lost Game 3 of an NBA Finals that was tied 1-1, it won the title only 10 percent of the time (2 of 20).