Quickcap: Spurs defend turf, beat Heat 114-104

Kevin C. Cox

Spurs' quick lead was snuffed out. The Spurs' big 2nd quarter lead was cut to nine at the half. The Spurs' 20 point third quarter lead was trimmed as well. But the fourth quarter lead, well it was chopped down too. But the Spurs won by 10 after all.

Manu joining the starting lineup seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, getting him going for a couple of quick threes and 3 early assists. Just like in all of the rest of the Finals games so far, the Spurs got a lead at the beginning of the first quarter, it just wasn't as large as in the first four games. And just as in the rest of the games, the Heat came back and tied it. Then something new happened, the Spurs ran right back out to another lead, behind some solid defense and timely shooting, and led 32-19 after 12 minutes.

The middle quarters saw one lead after another come and go as both teams played well in spurts. Danny Green hit a couple of three pointers in the second, and two more in the third, but the work he did on defense was just as important as he got back in transition, at one point foiling two fast breaks in a row with plays like this,


Meanwhile, all of the Spurs starters were having magnificent offensive games, shooting over 60% as a group, including Ginobili who led a furious charge going into the half and had the crowd chanting "Manu! Manu!" And he kept it going through the third, leading San Antonio with 20 points with just a quarter to go and the Spurs up 12.

The fourth quarter was another back-and-forth affair. The Spurs stretched the lead out to 20 points as the AT&T Center crowd shook the rafters, only to see Miami pull back into the game time and again, even getting the lead to single digits with less than two minutes. But once again, Danny Green, the man you can now call the most prolific three-point shooter in a single Finals series, stepped behind the line and let a double-bouncing Ginobili pass come to him for yet another three-pointer that took the lead back into double-digits, and started the celebrating in San Antonio.

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