One game we’re talking about the Heat’s reawakening as blowout specialists, fearing for the Spurs’ chances. Now, we’re scared to see if the Heat will ever make it out alive of Texas. Like a Donaire counterpunch, the San Antonio Spurs proceeded to make hapless hoopsters out of the Miami Heat in Game 3, sending them reeling with a 36-point massacre, 113-77.
After taking a beating in Game 2, the Spurs now lead the championship series, 2-1.
With the way the series have swung, what will we be talking about after Game 4 on Friday, Manila time? Which team and players will be making the headlines for the better reason? With each team having responded furiously to losses, your guess is as good as ours at this point.
What requires no guesswork however are these Game 3 numbers worth highlighting.
16: the record-setting mark for three-pointers made in an NBA Finals game by the San Antonio Spurs
Tonight might have been the first time that most of us cheered for Danny Green and Gary Neal. The former had been cut from an NBA team three times; the latter was an undrafted guard who was once content playing in Europe.
They were also tonight’s biggest stars, as Green swished in a cool 7 three-pointers while Neal added 6, and served as sterling reminders of the Spurs’ uncanny ability to find hidden gems.
You can perhaps add Kawhi Leonard to that list of gems as the sophomore added two long-range bombs of his own, along with playing effective defense on Lebron.
Next-game notes: With the way the supporting cast has sunk the outside shot, the Heat’s defense will be forced to venture further out. Such a proposition could only help inside operators Duncan and Parker beat the Heat from within the paint.
16.7: Lebron’s scoring average through three games
For all the talk about Lebron’s all-around magnificence, the truth is when you look at the team’s roster, the most talented scorer in that bunch is still Lebron.
Credit a smart Spurs’ team for holding the MVP below 20 points for three straight games (something that hitherto only ever happened during Games 3 to 5 of 2011 Finals against the Mavs), but clearly, there must be something that James can do to average more than a pedestrian 16.7 points per game.
Next-game notes: "I've got to play better. I've got to be able to put the ball into the basket," says James. He better do it in the next game because no team has ever come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit.
NEXT PAGE: Biggest losses in NBA Finals history
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