Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs got off to a scorching start in Miami and beat LeBron James and the Heat to take a 2-1 series advantage in the 2014 NBA Finals.
The Spurs hit 18 of their first 20 shots in Game 3 and never looked back in netting the easy 111-92 victory over Heat, who struggled mightily to match San Antonio’s offensive power on this night.
Leonard, just 22 years of age, finished with 29 points on 10-of-13 field goal shooting for the Spurs, who scored 71 points in the first half.
The Spurs patented team basketball surprised the Heat from the start. Danny Green and Tony Parker chipped in 15 points apiece while Tim Duncan had 14 points. As a team, the Spurs shot 59.4 per cent from the field—even worse considering they shot over 70 per cent from the field before halftime—an NBA Finals record.
The Heat had little trouble scoring too; James (9/14 FG) and Wade (8/12) each had 22 and the Heat as a team finished 32-of-62 from the field (51.6%). Even Chris Bosh was perfect 4-of-4 from the field for 9 markers.
However, their non-existent defense allowed the Spurs’ early explosion. San Antonio led 41-25 after the first quarter and 71-50 after the first half.
Miami also had more turnovers, 20-12 and San Antonio took advantage with 23 turnover points.
Miami cut the lead down to seven points in the second half but the Spurs were just too poised to fold.
Game 4 is on Thursday still in Miami.