Spurs 113, Heat 77: ‘Other Big 3’ lead Spurs to blowout win
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com June 11, 2013 10:56PM
San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard (2) and Tim Duncan (21) react during the second half at Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball series against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Updated: June 11, 2013 11:10PM
SAN ANTONIO – After getting embarrassed in Game 2 of the NBA Finals down in South Beach, the daunting question facing San Antonio in their return home for the next three games was would their “Big Three’’ show up?
Show up they did, just not the three that were expected to accept the invite.
Thanks to Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, San Antonio All-Stars Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were able to kick back, stretch the legs out and enjoy the laugher, with the Spurs blowing Miami out, 113-77, and taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
So much for all that talk about the 33-5 Miami run in Game 2 that was supposed to send a message, and the fact that Ginobili, Parker and Duncan combined for just 27 points in that loss Sunday. Those same three had just 25 combined points Tuesday, and it didn’t matter a bit.
Not when Green shot 7-for-9 from beyond the three-point line and scored 27 points. Not when Neal almost matched him, hitting 6-for-10 from long distance, adding 24 points. Then there’s Leonard, who had just 14 points and 12 rebounds, but more importantly, continued being the King Slayer – turning four-time LeBron James into just another player on the court.
James was once again a no-show in the first half, and even though he finished with 15 points, nine came in the third quarter. He is yet to hit the 20-point mark in all three games, and Leonard’s defense is a big reason why.
This series has been about the role players stepping up, and the Spurs seem to have more of them.
“I mean, it’s key,’’ James said of each team’s supporting cast. “The Big Three I guess on both sides. You know, you can kind of rely on them at all times. But I think the supporting cast is really why both teams are here. They’ve been making an impact all year long, and they feel like their supporting cast is better. We feel like our supporting cast is better. It’s who goes out and do it each and every night to help seal wins.’’