Everything rides on stars for Game 3
by Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Odd is the 1-1 series in the NBA Finals that doesn’t feel even.
Even though the San Antonio Spurs earned a sought-after split in the first two games on the road against the Miami Heat, it feels like Miami is in control. The series moves to San Antonio for three games with the momentum in favor of the Heat after their dominating 103-84 victory in Game 2 on Sunday.
Game 3 is today (9 p.m. ET, ABC), and Miami has to feel much better about the way it played in the two games, especially in Game 2.
“We have three at home, so we’re excited about that,” Spurs power forward Tim Duncan said. “But if we play like we did (Sunday), that’s not going to matter.
“It’s about getting refocused, playing a much better game, ending quarters better and hopefully shooting better.”
Here are three keys to Game 3:
1. The pressure is on the superstars to be superstars.
LeBron James heads into Game 3 feeling positive about what the Heat accomplished. They played their game — defense created offensive opportunities, and when the Heat are moving the ball and several players are making shots, they are nearly impossible to defend.
Even when James was 3-for-13 shooting after three quarters in Game 2, Miami still led by 10 points. What he was lacking in the scoring column, he was making up for running the offense.
“What I do know is sharing the ball is contagious, and it allows everyone to feel involved in the offense,” James said. “I know I attract a lot of attention. This team has been set up the right way where when I do attract attention, we have guys that can make plays.”
With that said, the Heat need James to be better. When the Heat won 27 consecutive games, the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, James averaged 27 points a game. In the two games against San Antonio, he’s averaging 17.5.
If San Antonio continues to focus its defensive efforts on James, Miami’s shooters will continue to find open shots. If they make shots, James eventually will get his chances. If the … [For more on Everything rides on the stars for NBA Finals Game 3, click here.]