Miami now have a mountain to cimb heading back to San Antonio (©GettyImages)
Miami now have a mountain to cimb heading back to San Antonio (©GettyImages).

San Antonio Spurs dominate at the American Airlines Arena

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San Antonio Spurs gave an outstanding performance in game three to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals, and considering Miami Heat fans were expecting a response last night before heading back to San Antonio it never came as Heat lost the encounter 107-86 at the American Airlines Arena, making it two defeats on the bounce at home.

San Antonio were feeling motivated after beating Erik Spoelstra's men 111-92 on Tuesday night with Kawhi Leonard scoring a career high total of 29 points, and the visitors scoring 71 within the first 24 minutes.

But Thursday was more of a strengthened performance from Gregg Popovich's men, not allowing Miami to ever gain momentum and in result to their tactics Spurs now take a 3-1 lead back to San Antonio with one more win granting them the NBA Championship.

Popovich spoke to ESPN after the game and believed the job hasn't been completed yet, as he is expecting more of the same heading into game five on Sunday night.

"I'm pleased that they performed as well as they did while we've been in Miami, and that's about as far as it goes, now we've got to go back home and play as well or better."

The hunger for their fifth NBA title has been displayed in the last few matches, as the defeat to Heat last year has urged Popovich's men to show how much they want this years' championship.

However for Heat this was poor performance as forward LeBron James had to carry the team scoring 29 of their 86 points. The fans included weren't happy leaving the stadium midway through the fourth quarter.

James meanwhile reasoned with ESPN believing Miami were second best and that San Antonio played the reigning champions off the park.

"They smashed us," James said.

"Two straight home games got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these last two games. It's just that simple."

So far in this series Spurs have won the first quarter of all three of their previous encounters, and their dominance continued in game four scoring 26 to Heat's 17 in the first period.

Danny Green and Tony Parker both scored six for the visitors while Patty Mills added five. But for Heat, Chris Bosh managed seven and James converted five as the hosts had only scored seven of their 20 attempted field goals.

In the second, San Antonio improved and scored 29 to Miami's 19.
Leonard and Parker both scored six for Spurs, while for the hosts Ray Allen played for eight minutes and scored six, converting all of his attempted shots.

But this wasn't enough as at half-time the 2013 runners-up had a 19 point lead over the reigning champions.

Words of wisdom were needed for Heat but the hard work of Spurs shone through, winning the third 26-21; Leonard scored eight with Parker adding seven to his previous total of 12.

James tried to keep the Heat alive scoring 19 of their 21 points in the third as the small forward converted seven of his attempted eight field goals.
But the outcome was looking bleak as Popovich's men had a 24 point lead over the hosts with 12 minutes left to play.

Miami went on to win the fourth 29-26, and considering all players on both teams got a chance to play it didn't make a difference in the final outcome.

James Jones for Heat had a mind-blowing two minutes, scoring 11 points; converting all of his attempted field goals and three pointers.
While for Spurs Patty Mills capped off a good performance adding six to his first half total of eight.

There is no question the fans weren't happy with Heat, a lacklustre performance which failed to show strength or willingness, but whatever the issues are, Spurs taste success, and are getting closer to redeeming themselves from last years' misery.

Sunday's game at the AT&T Centre will be a classic, and we await to see whether Popovich will win the Championship in game five, or whether the series heads back to Miami for game six.

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Tony Parker
NBA Finals
LeBron James
San Antonio Spurs
Miami Heat

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