The San Antonio Spurs shooting wasn’t quite as impressive as it was in Game 3. But their blowout win against the Miami Heat in Game 4 was a near-match
The Spurs have won three straight road games after starting 2-5 on the road this postseason. They snapped the Heat’s streak of 48 consecutive games without consecutive playoff losses (third-best all-time) and the Heat’s 13-game playoff win streak following a loss.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the Spurs join the 1977 Trail Blazers as the only teams to win back-to-back games by 19 or more points in the NBA Finals.
The Spurs are one win shy of their fifth NBA title. They are 10-0 under Gregg Popovich in best-of-7 series when taking a 3-1 lead. The Heat trail a series 3-1 for the first time in their Big 3 era.
Difference-Maker: Kawhi Leonard
For the second straight game, Kawhi Leonard played on a level unlike any he’d played before.
Leonard finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. He’s the first player to put up that stat line in an NBA Finals game since his teammate, Tim Duncan, did so in 2003. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the only other player to hit all those benchmarks in a Finals game since blocks and steals became official in 1974 was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1986
Leonard had his 11th career postseason double-double. Five of those have come against the Heat.
Spurs shred the Heat in many ways
The Spurs dominated this game with both power and precision. They shot 74 percent in the paint (23 for 31).
Highest FG Pct Through 1st 4 Games
NBA Finals (Since 1954-55)
They also were 10 for 14 on shots that came off possessions in which they made at least five passes.
LeBron does his best, but gets little help
LeBron James tried to spark a Heat comeback attempt, but his efforts came up well short. James had 19 of the Heat’s 21 points in the third quarter and 28 of their first 57 points in the game.
James was 10 for 17 from the field. The other Heat starters were 11 for 34.
The Spurs did a good job containing James in the first half. His average shot distance in the first two quarters was 18 feet.
Milestones for Duncan
Tim Duncan became the NBA’s all-time postseason leader in two stats- most minutes played, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and postseason double-doubles. His 158 are one more than Magic Johnson.
Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit in any best-of-7 series. The last was the 2006 Phoenix Suns against the Lakers. No team in NBA Finals history has overcome a 3-1 series deficit.