On Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs won the franchise's fifth NBA championship.The Heat began the game with a lot of pride, bucking the trend of the series whereby the Spurs get out to the early lead. But San Antonio raced back and passed Miami in the second quarter. San Antonio never looked back.
The Spurs were unique set up to destroy the Heat's vaunted defense. Miami employs an aggressive perimeter defense which is designed to create turnovers and key their fastbreak. The Spurs use persistent ball movement to expose openings left by Miami's pressure. Miami's lack of rim protection allowed the Spurs numerous wide open shots in the paint.
LeBron James gave it his all in defeat. He scored 31, grabbed 10 boards, amassed 5 assists, and even blocked two shots. Only Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade hit double figures, and both put up more field goals than points.
Meanwhile, Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had another strong all around game. He scored 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds. But the Spurs are a balanced team. Manu Giobili added 19, Patty MIlls had 17, Tony Parker scored 16, and Tim Duncan finished with 14. Duncan had 8 rebounds and Boris Diaw added 9. Ten Spurs had an assist and no one had more than center Diaw with 6. The Spurs turned the ball over only 8 times.
The 104-87 victory gave the Spurs a 4-1 series win and avenges their heartbreaking defeat in the 2013 NBA Finals. Questions and criticism will surround the Heat, but with four straight Finals appearances and two NBA championships, Miami has become one of the two most successful franchises in recent years.