The Spurs won game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals by protecting home court in game 1 versus the Heat, winning 110-95. The Spurs came into this game following a huge series over the Oklahoma City Thunder, yet they were facing a dominant and well rested Heat team so the outcome was uncertain.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs squad with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Manu Ginobli had 16 points, and 11 assists off the bench. Tony Parker, Danny Green, and Tiago Splitter combined for 46 points. The Spurs were prosperous in shooting despite 22 turnovers, but countered their miscues (14 of their turnovers came from Heat steals) while shooting 58.8% from the field. When they finally cut down on the turnovers and made an incredible 14 of 16 shots in the 4th, including 6-6 from 3-point range. Kawhi Leonard in particular came on late after struggling through most of the first half with foul trouble, and finished with 9 points, including 2 3-points in the 4th.
The big story in game 1 will be how LeBron James missed the final 4 minutes of the 4th quarter due to a leg cramping amidst the Spurs' arena A/C breaking down and the on-court temperature soared to near 90 degrees. The conditions appeared to affect James more than any other, as his leg cramping rendered him unable to even walk. It is difficult to say for sure, but the fact is that he left the game with his team down by 2 points, and the Heat managed to only score 3 more points in those final minutes, as the Spurs closed it out with a 16-3 run, and a 31-9 run overall in the 4th quarter to take control over the game. The Heat trio of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh pooled for 62 points. Their role players were led by Ray Allen, who finished with 16 points, and newly inserted starter Rashard Lewis, who had 10. The team shot 47.5% from the field.
The boiling temperature in the arena absolutely had it negative impact on the Heat. When James was asked about the situation, he stated:
'' They're trying to smoke us out of here ''
James has a history of getting cramps, but as Tim Duncan said after the game, everyone was playing in the same conditions. Therefore, we cannot claim that the Heat lost due to the sweltering temperature on the court.
Hopefully, this is not the end, the series will hopefully be quite entertaining, and just by taking a look at the following data below, game 1 does not signal the end for Miami.
Year Game 1 NBA CHAMPIONS
2006 DAL 90 vs MIA 80 MIAMI HEAT
2011 MIA 92 vs DAL 84 MAVERICKS
2012 OKC 105 vs MIA 94 MIAMI HEAT
2013 SAS 92 vs MIA 88 MIAMI HEAT
So what we can conclude from is that every time the Heat played the NBA Finals, teams who have lost game 1, have won the NBA championship? Could this happen again in 2014?