Giving up huge runs to close 1st, 3rd quarters doom Heat in Game 5 of NBA Finals

  • Article by: TIM REYNOLDS , AP Basketball Writer
  • Updated: June 17, 2013 - 5:30 AM

SAN ANTONIO — Until Tuesday night, the Miami Heat will be lamenting 8 bad minutes.

Eight very bad minutes, actually.

So bad that they took away any realistic chance of winning Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. So bad that they put the reigning champions on the brink of elimination. So bad that they ensured the Heat season can only be saved by winning two games in Miami, or else they will face the indignity of watching an opponent celebrate a title on their floor for the second time in three years.

San Antonio closed the first quarter on a 15-2 run, then wrapped up the third with a 12-1 burst. And those flurries generated more than enough cushion than the Spurs would need on the way to a 114-104 win that put them one win away from their fifth championship since 1999.

"We haven't really gotten beaten like that in a long time," Heat guard Mario Chalmers said. "It just happened tonight, so something's got to change."

In those two bursts, the Spurs shot a combined 10 for 12. The Heat, 1 for 11.

More than anything else, those two stretches will be the ones that cause the Heat to cringe when they watch the tape Monday.

"We're going to have to look at it and we're going to have to answer that question," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "There's no doubt about it. ... Can we put together our best game on both sides of the floor in Game 6? We do feel good that we're going home, but we've got to earn back that home court."

Game 6 is in Miami on Tuesday. Game 7, if necessary, would also be there Thursday.

It was 17-17 with 4:45 left in the first after LeBron James it for Miami with a 3-pointer. Score at the end of the first: Spurs 32, Heat 19, and it wasn't just the ending that was bad for Miami. The Heat shot 30 percent in the period, their third-worst performance from the field of the entire season — while the Spurs sizzled away at 63 percent.

Slowly, things moved toward evening out. And an inspired start to the third by Miami cut what was a nine-point deficit at intermission to just 61-60 in the first 1:17 of the second half. Then with 3:05 left in the third, a jumper by Dwyane Wade, followed by a free throw by Shane Battier on the same play (he was fouled while setting a screen) got the Heat within one again, 75-74.

That's when the bottom fell out — again.

"Once we got it back to one, we felt that we'd weathered the storm," Spoelstra said. "Then we missed a couple shots that we normally are accustomed to making, and it just snowballed downhill from there."

Danny Green made a 3-pointer to start the San Antonio surge to close the third, and Manu Ginobili scored seven more points before the end of the period to help push the Spurs' margin to 12 at 87-75 entering the fourth.

By then, the Spurs had more than enough space to weather Miami's last rally. The Heat cut it to 109-101 with just inside of 2 minutes to go, which surely made getting outscored by 24 combined points to end the first and third quarters hurt that much more.

"We kept fighting. We kept feeling like we had a chance," Wade said. "This was a game that it was like we could steal it. But they continued to make shots. Credit to them. Their starters played big tonight. All of them made shots. They shot 60 percent from the field in a tough game."

For their part, the Spurs said they weren't doing anything special — which is pretty much the standard Spurs explanation for just about everything.

But those runs to end the first and the third, they had a marked effect on the scoreboard, on the Heat sideline psyche and on the San Antonio crowd, which cheered its team for the final time in a home game this season.

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Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 0 Top 1st Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 4 1st Qtr 8:34
Indiana 6
Sacramento 2 1st Qtr 10:13
Orlando 4
Utah 2 1st Qtr 9:32
Philadelphia 4
Miami 4 1st Qtr 9:44
Washington 10
Toronto 4 1st Qtr 8:56
Charlotte 5
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 0 1st Prd 16:03
New Jersey 0
Minnesota 0 1st Prd 16:23
Carolina 0
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 6:30 PM
Detroit
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 39 2nd Half 14:37
Elon 39
Gardner-Webb 46 2nd Half 12:59
High Point 41
Samford 38 2nd Half 17:25
UNC Greensboro 45
Northern Ill 6 1st Half 15:57
Ball State 9
Bowling Green 6 1st Half 16:12
Buffalo 6
Brown 8 1st Half 16:44
Dartmouth 0
Toledo 6 1st Half 15:32
Eastern Mich 8
Akron 9 1st Half 14:07
Kent State 12
Ill-Chicago 3 1st Half 15:14
Oakland 10
Miami-Ohio 3 1st Half 18:05
Ohio 5
Columbia 0 1st Half 18:35
Penn 0
Cornell 8 1st Half 13:58
Princeton 7
Central Mich 0 1st Half 20:00
Western Mich 0
Bradley 3 1st Half 16:46
Northern Iowa 4
Morehead State 6:30 PM
Murray State
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
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San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 22 2nd Half 14:34
(7) Florida State 55
SMU 27 2nd Half
Memphis 37
Lehigh 54 2nd Half 12:39
Holy Cross 30
Rhode Island 7 1st Half 15:27
Duquesne 7
North Florida 0 1st Half 17:45
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 8
Kennesaw St 2 1st Half 17:12
Jacksonville 6
USC Upstate 0 1st Half 19:13
Northern Ky 0
Lipscomb 2 1st Half 15:35
Stetson 10
Nebraska 12 1st Half 15:59
(14) Iowa 13
Saint Peters 4 1st Half 14:10
Marist 8
Navy 6 1st Half 16:31
Bucknell 5
Lafayette 7 1st Half 15:40
American Univ 4
Colgate 2 1st Half 16:18
Army 3
Georgia 4 1st Half 15:55
(5) Tennessee 10
Dartmouth 13 1st Half 12:21
Brown 2
Penn 2 1st Half 17:12
Columbia 2
(13) Princeton 0 1st Half 20:00
Cornell 0
Kansas 3 1st Half 16:22
Kansas State 4
Harvard 10 1st Half 13:28
Yale 10
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
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