Redemption was a repeating chorus in the minds of the San Antonio players heading into game one of the NBA Finals against Miami Heat, but they silenced this voice with a 110-95 win at the AT&T Centre on Thursday night to take a positive lead in the series.
Last season the Spurs lost the NBA Finals to Miami Heat 4-3 having taken the first game, but this season their motives would be to stop Heat creating history as Popovich knows that a series win is looking possible with his side entering the 2014 Finals as favourites.
Tony Parker, who was said to miss game one, returned from injury to score 19 points and help the Spurs move onto the front foot, as the point guard spoke to ESPN after the game and stated he is proud of what his team have achieved.
"Just very proud of my team, we kept believing, kept pushing. We know it's not easy."
The 32-year-old collected eight assists in the game while forward Tim Duncan recorded 21 points with Manu Ginobilli adding 16.
However, for Miami they were complaining about the heat within the stadium, as records say it reached 90 degrees in the second half, which resulted in small forward LeBron James having to limp with off with cramp in the fourth quarter.
"I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench."
James managed 25 points on Thursday night but only played five minutes in the final quarter; coming off with an injury then later returning for only a short period before sitting out for the rest of the game.
The home side began the game in dominant fashion, taking the first quarter 26-20.
Ginobilli scored nine in seven minutes while collecting three assists, while Duncan added eight to the board converting all his attempted shots.
For Heat, James led the way scoring seven whilst playing the full quarter with Dwyane Wade added six in seven minutes.
But in the second Spoelstra's men bounced back to win by one point at 29-28; Ray Allen was in the mood scoring ten points while both James and Wade added six.
Popovich's men were still getting points on the board as both Marco Belinelli and Parker scored eight with Duncan adding seven in eight minutes.
Heading in at half-time the hosts still had a five point lead over the reigning champions at 54-49. But in the third Heat bounced back to silence the doubters winning the third quarter 29-20.
James scoring a solid ten while Rashard Lewis added eight with Ray Allen scoring six in seven minutes.
For the hosts no one pushed for the points as Ginobilli only scored five while Tiago Splitter managed four.
Heading into the final quarter Heat had turned the game on its head taking a four point lead at 78-74.
But with the game becoming heated, so did the stadium as the AT&T Centre's air conditioning suffered a malfunction causing the stadium to reach a temperature of 90 degrees.
This seemed to have an effect on the game as San Antonio hammered Miami in the fourth quarter 36-17.
Danny Green scored 11 points converting all of his attempted field goals and three pointers, while Kawhi Leonard and Parker both scored seven.
James went off injured in the fourth and only scored two while Chris Bosh had to take control as the centre scored eight with Mario Chalmers adding three.
Spoelstra's men slipped up in the final period and gave the hosts a chance to claw back the result, as now the visitors sit 1-0 down heading into game two on Sunday night at the AT&T Centre once again.
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