Heat vs. Spurs Game One Gets Hot, Lebron Cramps
This wasn’t the epitome of San Antonio Spurs basketball, just the essence of Spurs basketball.
Twenty-three turnovers? Uh-uh, not very Spurs-like at all.
A seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter at home, where they’d won their previous seven playoff games by 15 or more points? So uncharacteristic.
If you think about it, though, the Spurs might be best defined by what they don’tdo. They don’t go away.
The Spurs might wave the occasional white flag — most recently when coach Gregg Popovich sat his starters for the entire fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals — but that’s always with an eye toward saving them for another day. You will hear from them again.
They’ve been hanging around a good five years past the expiration date stamped on the bottle, and now here they are in June, standing closer than anyone else to the Larry O’Brien trophy thanks to their 110-95 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
“We ended up with a win that was sort of unlikely after 40 minutes,” Manu Ginobili said.
The Spurs didn’t outplay the Heat so much as they outlasted them on a sultry Texas night when the AT&T Center air conditioning didn’t work and LeBron James missed seven minutes of the fourth quarter because of cramping in his left leg.