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Spurs take uncomfortable Game 1 of NBA Finals; LeBron leaves early

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Updated: June 5, 2014 11:07PM



SAN ANTONIO—The most anticipated NBA Finals in recent memory lived up to its hype when the Spurs took on the Heat in Game 1 at the AT&T Center Thursday.

The rematch of last year’s Finals, which went seven games, came down to the waning minutes of the fourth quarter before San Antonio eventually pulled ahead to earn a 110-95 win.

Of note, the air conditioning in the AT&T Center was out the entire game, which made the fans uncomfortable and unruly. After the third quarter, the public address announcer said that an electrical malfunction was the reason the air conditioning was not working.

As much as the Twittersphere was abuzz with jokes about the malfunctioning air conditioning, it actually could have had a profound affect on the game.

With the Spurs leading 94-92 and 3:49 left in the game, LeBron James left the floor and had to be carried to the bench. It likely could have been due to the high temperatures at the AT&T Center. James never returned to the game.

On the ensuring play Danny Green hit a three. Boris Diaw dropped in a layup on the next San Antonio possession to put the Spurs up seven.

Amazingly the Spurs were able to stay in the game despite committing 22 turnovers.

How exactly?

Well, the Heat were equally as inefficient in taking care of the ball. They committed 16 turnovers.

The Spurs were in control throughout most of the first half thanks to 10 points—and two quick threes in the first quarter—from Manu Ginobili off the bench. Thursday Ginobili began to atone for crucial turnovers that cost the Spurs last year’s Finals by scoring x points and dishing out x assists.

Likewise the Heat saw big first-half contributions from reserve guard Ray Allen who went three-for-six from three-point range and scored 10 first half points. Allen, James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade combined to score 45 of Miami’s 49 points in the first half.

Tim Duncan scored 21 for the Spurs and Tony Parker, who looked healthy despite an ankle injury that left his status in doubt leading up to Thursday, had 19 points and eight assists.

James finished with 25, Wade 19 and Bosh 18.

Email: sgruen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SethGruen



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