It was business as usual for the San Antonio Spurs whose smooth, flowing offense resumed in Game 4 as they pummeled the Miami Heat again for a commanding 3-1 lead—a margin that has never been overcome in NBA Finals history.
The winning team's hot shooting and zippy passing continued to confuse a rather fireless Heat team, who trailed from the beginning and never really made a game out of it. Having stolen two games on their rival's floor, the Spurs now have three chances to expel the Ghosts Of Finals Past, and win their franchise's fifth trophy.
Their first opportunity comes on Monday, June 16, 9 a.m. where the Spurs will try to close it out at home. Does the Heat have some sort of secret rocket fuel they haven't used yet? They better bring that out now or their three-peat hopes will become nothing more than a dream.
Now, before Game 5 happens, let's recap some of the big (and awful) moments from Game 4!
(For our recaps of the previous games in the series, click here!)
The "Kawhi For Finals MVP" campaign grows louder
In the third quarter, Patty Mills attempted a three-pointer from the corner that missed, and then this happened:
That one play pretty much encapsulates the effect that Kawhi Leonard has had in the two recent games in the series. Leonard has been hammering the Heat, and his Game 4 stat-line says as much: 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks. The dude's showing his complete repertoire right now as he effectively made jumpers, drives, and yes, explosive putbacks, as well as providing relentless D on the other end.
The Spurs play a brand of team basketball unlike any other, which makes it hard to choose just one definitive player that's helped them win. But with Leonard's quiet ferocity and overwhelming court presence, he's currently who we have on our Finals MVP ballot.
Tim Duncan beats not just the Heat but two other basketball legends
Tim Duncan was a steady force as usual. His numbers weren't that big (10 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes) but they were enough to achieve milestones that once again speaks of his legendary consistency.
In this game, Duncan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in most minutes played in the NBA Playoffs with 8,867 minutes played. He also passed Magic Johnson for the most double-doubles in the postseason with 158.
Lastly, the dude once again turned back the clock with this slam: