|Date of game: 6/5/2014
Recap: San Antonio vs. Miami
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - With the air conditioning system at AT&T Center malfunctioning, LeBron James struggled to deal with the extreme heat down the stretch of Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Danny Green, on the other hand, only got hotter.
The San Antonio sharp-shooter drilled three 3-pointers in the final 6:07 as part of a 31-9 game-closing run that propelled the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-95 victory over the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
In a rematch of the 2013 Finals, Miami seemed well on its way to stealing Game 1 after Chris Bosh converted a four-point play to give the Heat an 86-79 advantage with just over 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
Tim Duncan capped a 5-0 San Antonio spurt with a layup just over two minutes later and James hobbled toward the Miami bench, prompting the Heat to use a timeout.
With James sidelined, Dwyane Wade drilled a jumper to slow the surge, but Green, who had gone 0-for-5 from the floor over the first three frames, knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Spurs a 90-88 edge.
Chris Andersen answered with a layup at the other end before Duncan finished a layup and Green followed with a one-handed, fastbreak dunk to force another Miami timeout.
James returned to the contest and blew by his defender on the right wing before getting a layup to fall, but the two-time Finals MVP remained on the baseline clutching at his left thigh in obvious pain.
Ray Allen then took a foul to stop the clock, and James staggered to the scorer's table before being carried to the bench by an assistant coach and a teammate.
"It was an unusual environment," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said of the heat. "It felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench."
When play resumed, Green continued his torrid shooting display, pouring in another triple before Boris Diaw followed a Wade miss with a layup to push San Antonio's lead to 99-92 with 3:24 to play.
Mario Chalmers buried a 3-pointer -- his only points of the game -- on Miami's next possession to make it a four-point game, but Miami failed to score the rest of the way as Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker combined for the game's final 11 points to secure the victory.
Duncan finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Parker poured in 19 points and handed out eight assists, and Manu Ginobili totaled 16 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who shot a scorching 14-of-16 from the floor in the fourth, including a perfect 6-of-6 mark from long distance.
"Danny Green got hot, we found something that worked offensively and we took care of the ball finally," Duncan said of the Spurs' strong fourth quarter.
James, who's been hampered by cramps in the past, paced the Heat with 25 points and six assists, while Wade and Bosh supplied 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the setback.
"We have to finish the game better, no matter who is on the floor," Wade said, referring to the absence of James, who received an IV following the game.
James and the Heat will have two days to recover before they're back on the floor for Game 2 on Sunday.
"In live sporting events sometimes things transpire that you don't expect," NBA president of basketball operations Rob Thorn said of the air conditioning failing. "We do not foresee any problems at all come Sunday. We think it will be fixed come Sunday and we'll be able to play under normal conditions."
Ginobili provided the Spurs with a spark off the bench in the opening frame, draining 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point range and adding a trio of assists as the Spurs took a 26-20 lead after 12 minutes.
San Antonio's bench outscored Miami's reserves 12-0 in the opening frame, but Allen knocked down his first three 3-point attempts in the second quarter to help Miami cut into the margin.
Allen's third trey of the stanza sliced Miami's deficit to 42-41 with 5:05 left before halftime, but the Spurs continued to get production from their bench, as reserve Marco Belinelli answered with a triple of his own.
After Parker added a free throw to push the spread to five, James, who spent the first five minutes of the second quarter on the bench, reeled off the next six Miami points to get his team within 49-47.
Duncan helped San Antonio create some separation late in the frame, closing the quarter on a personal 5-2 swing to send the Spurs into the break with a 54-49 advantage.
The Spurs scored the first four points of the third to extend the margin to nine, but Wade and James supplied five points apiece in a 13-2 burst that James capped with a triple for a 62-60 Miami lead.
Ginobili reeled off five straight points later in the frame to put the Spurs on top by two, but Allen answered with six straight points before James buried two free throws to make it 75-69 in favor of Miami.
James drained another trey late in the stanza before Tiago Splitter's reverse layup sent San Antonio into the fourth trailing, 78-74.Game Notes
According to a statement from the Spurs, "an electrical failure for the power
that runs the AC system in the AT&T Center" occurred, causing the extreme heat
... The Spurs improved to 6-0 all-time in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, while the
Heat fell to 1-4 in Game 1s of the Finals ... The Heat claimed last year's
Finals in seven games for their second straight NBA title ... With an assist
in the first quarter, James recorded his 1,000th career postseason assist,
becoming just the third player in NBA history with 4,000 points, 1,000
rebounds, and 1,000 assists, joining Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant ... San
Antonio has won nine straight postseason home games, including eight in a row
by 15-plus points, the longest such streak in NBA history ... Miami scored 28
points off 23 San Antonio turnovers, while the Spurs scored 27 points off 18