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San Antonio vs. Miami, Final Score: Spurs unable to keep pace, get beaten late by the Heat, 106-100

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Heat demonstratively show why they are a dark horse contender in the East

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
Adebayo decimated the Spurs frontline in an impressive victory for Miami
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio continued a helter skelter season of mixed results and was not able to withstand a late Miami comeback in the loss. The Spurs were led by possible All-Star DeMar DeRozan (30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists) and hot shooting from Patty Mills (21 points). Kendrick Nunn (33 points and 4 assists) and Bam Adebayo (14 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists) helped Miami end a two game losing streak.

Observations

  • I like getting used to seeing LaMarcus Aldridge’s first three go in most games!
  • Duncan Robinson. You get it? That’s it. You just know that there will be players named Manu Duncan or Parker Gervin coming down the pipeline in the upcoming years.
  • Bryn Forbes nailed his first two attempts from distance. On the first time that Miami sought him out on defense, Forbes stripped away the ball cleanly from Butler.
  • A weird trend that some players are reverting back to? Short shorts. Meyers Leonard rocked them confidently tonight.
  • Though none ended up in actual offensive rebounds, Jakob Poeltl seemed to generate several tips and caroms on the offensive boards.
  • Dejounte Murray’s pull-up jumper seems to be successful more often from straight away compared to the baselines.
  • After he stunted a Miami possession for a shot clock violation late in the third, Heat analyst Eric Reid gushed “Derrick White is a game changing player defensively.” White connected on a difficult three-point play shortly after to return the lead back to San Antonio.
  • Opponents that would have made great Spurs? Bam Adebayo. Perhaps the Spurs were looking for an offensively talented version of Adebayo in Marcus Morris. Bam’s endless energy and hustle on both ends makes me think of a taller Montrezl Harrell. and he extended several Heat possessions on his own. Bam later added in a rebound and emphatic slam.
  • Long-time Spur destroyer Goran Dragic is now coming off the bench. He rattled home four 3-pointers to push out the Miami lead in the second period.
  • Marco Belinelli’s late clutch shot in Toronto reminded me of his moment in the 2014 Finals Game 3 where his jumper stopped a Heat run in the third. This got me thinking - which 2014 finals road game do you think was more impressive: Game 3 where the Spurs shot 76% in the first half on the way to a 71-50 halftime lead or Game 4 where San Antonio annihilated Miami on both ends and held them to 36 points in the first half?’ My vote is for Game 4, which gave us a handful of indelible moments (the Kawhi tipdunk, the Boris Diaw behind the back pass to Tiago Splitter for a dunk and numerous Mills fistpumps)
  • The 2019-2020 Marco Belinelli experience in one sequence: After an airballed shot, he somehow came away with the offensive rebound, and after nearly committing a travel on the putback attempt, somehow found Poeltl at the last second for a lay-up.
  • Both teams came out shooting well from distance. Rookie Kendrick Nunn connected on his first three shots to lead Miami, while Forbes and DeMar DeRozan paced San Antonio. The Spurs later had an unusual amount of shots go in-and-out, and the Heat pulled away to lead 24-17 after one. Mills and Dragic engaged in an impromptu shooting contest to start the second quarter. The Heat and Spurs threw out zone defenses intermittently to moderate success. Nunn made his first eight shots with an array of beautiful jumpers and floaters. Despite the home team hitting five more three-pointers, the Spurs behind DeRozan, Mills, and Forbes went into the break tied at 51 with Miami.
  • As Nunn pushed his streak to nine straight shots, DeRozan worked his midrange sorcery from various spots around the paint, which made it two players that started 9-for-10 from the field. The Spurs briefly regained the lead behind some hard-nosed conversions from Aldridge and Rudy Gay. Pop utilized a Coach’s Challenge on a foul late in the stanza against Mills which resulted in the call being upheld, but with an added technical foul on Butler for making contact above the neck. Butler missed both free throws, while DeRozan hit his. After some exciting back-and-forth play by the teams, San Antonio exited the period up 77-75.
  • Miami ran off the first eight points in the final period to regain the lead while the Spurs missed 11 of their first 12 attempts. Too many Spurs possessions ended vainly either in offensive fouls or bricked shots off of great kickouts, and Miami countered with conversions from various hot hands. After the Heat went up by 11, San Antonio made a furoius push behind DeRozan and White to close the gap to two possessions. The Spurs had several empty possessions in the closing minutes, including a Mills three blocked by Butler that could have cut the deficit to two.

For the Heat fan’s perspective, please visit Hot Hot Hoops.

The Spurs return home to face Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks Friday evening at 7:30 CT.