Spurs top Heat in NBA Finals’ Game 1
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — With time running out on the shot and game clocks and the San Antonio Spurs clinging to a two-point lead, Tony Parker almost lost the ball, almost had a shot blocked by LeBron James, almost didn’t get off a shot in time. And he became the Game 1 hero.
Parker threw up a desperation attempt high off the backboard that dropped in with 5.2 seconds remaining gave the Spurs a 92-88 victory Thursday against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
“I was going down and just tried to get a shot off,” Parker said.
He barely did. James got his hand on the ball as Parker went up. Parker then double-clutched, and as he fell forward, the ball left his hands as the shot clock expired. And the Spurs took a 1-0 lead in the series.
Parker had a game-high 21 points, but the stars came out for the series opener. James had a triple-double (18 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists), Dwyane Wade had 17 points and Chris Bosh had 13 points. But Tim Duncan (20 points, 14 rebounds) and Manu Ginobili (13 points) had just a little more help from their role players.
“Obviously, Lebron is unbelievable and Dwyane Wade was playing great,” Parker said. “We just try to contain them.”
The Spurs erased a 76-73 deficit early in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Heat 19-12 in the final 8:08 with Parker leading the charge. The Heat cut it to 88-86 on three free throws from Ray Allen and were within 90-88 before Parker’s basket.
The Spurs are trying to win a fifth title in three different decade. Game 2 is Sunday (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
But this series seems far from over. Settle in because it has the hallmarks of a classic — future Hall of Famers, great coaching, front-office acumen.
The Heat are trying to become the first team since the creation of the 16-team playoff format in 1984 to play in consecutive seven-game Eastern Conference finals and win the back-to-back championships. The Game 1 winner is 21-8 in the Finals since 1984 but 0-2 in the past … [For more on San Antonio Spurs top Miami Heat in NBA Finals' Game 1, click here.]