Spurs Bombard Miami In Game Three

THE NBA FINALS REPORT: SURPRISE, SURPRISE AS THE SPURS' "SUPPORTING CAST" BOMBARDS THE HEAT 113-77 IN GAME 3 BLOWOUT!

Network Gets The 34-point Cover!

By Jim Hurley:

In case you didn't hear him the first time, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra repeated himself a couple of more times in his press conference that immediately followed Tuesday night's humbling 113-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals:

"We got what we deserved tonight," said a shell-shocked Spoelstra.

'Ya think?
The Heat - a slightly better than 2-to-1 betting favorite to cop this year's NBA Finals and thus repeat as league champions - showed awful "body language" (we agree with you again, Mr. Magic Johnson!) and played listlessly on both ends of the floor.

Worse yet, for much of Game 3 it didn't seem as if the Heat really cared about being there in an NBA Finals game ... so what gives with that?
Okay, so we'll be quick to shower praise on the 2-point home favorite Spurs here and so let's get to it:

On a night when San Antonio's iconic "Big Three" of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined to hit just 10-of-23 field-goal attempts for a grand total of 25 points, it was dudes named Danny Green (game-high 27 points) and Gary Neal (24 points) that lit up the skies with a plethora of three-balls - as in a combined 13-of-19 from beyond the three-point arc thus helping San Ant record an NBA Finals-record 16 trifectas on 32 downtown attempts.

Hey, we told you at the very start of this series that the Spurs needed to make a concerted effort to score double-digit treys every game in this series and they easily got that in Game 3 as the ball movement was crisp and precision-like (kudos to Parker for his 8 assists in just 27 minutes before he came out with some hamstring soreness) and hats off to both Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and his underrated staff for knowing that dishing the ball 'round the perimeter and waiting for the open three was key - and the Heat allowed it all to happen.

It was totally bedlam inside the Spurs' building on this NBA Finals night - and remember the fans were truly pumped after their favorite team had not played a game at home in three full weeks way back on May 21 - with Green and Neal drilling bomb shots but we only wonder if the Spurs went a bit too far in celebrating the blowout win.

Guess we'll find that out come Thursday night when Game 4 rolls around and remember we will preview that tilt for you in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez with some key pre-game analysis, so don't miss out!

Meanwhile, the Green/Neal show was terrific stuff (if you had the Spurs!) and don't sleep on the performance of swingman Kawhi Leonard who defended LeBron James and chipped in 14 points and 12 points and don't look now but he's our "leader in the clubhouse" when it comes to the Finals MVP but, yes, we know this best-of-seven series still has a long ways to go.

The Heat must be wondering if can wipe away its worst loss of this 2012-13 season and the worst loss in James' NBA career that covers some 899 games - and let's not absolve "The King" from his many wrongdoings here in Game 3 as he missed 14-of-21 FG tries (including 11 of his first 13 shots from the floor) and showed next-to-no life save for a personal nine-point scoring spree late in the third quarter that helped make his 15-point night somewhat bearable.

Okay, so as NBA TV analyst Charles Barkley pointed out in the post-game reports, how could James not have a single free throw in this Game 3 and - better yet - how come he's had only six free throws in this series so far?

Hey, one New York City radio talk show host was busy telling callers prior to Game 3 that James was "better" than the likes of Jerry West and Oscar Robertson - but did they ever disappear in championship-type games like that? We think not!

Still, James wasn't the only lifeless soul on the floor for the Heat as guard Dwyane Wade finished with the quietest and least effective 16 points you've ever seen and save for Mike Miller's heroics (read 5-of-5 on triples and 15 points in all) the Heat bench didn't give Spoelstra's side much of a boost with Chris "Birdman" Andersen a complete no show save for one baseline dunk and Ray Allen kicking in just 4 points in 19 minutes of game time.

Just remember that since the NBA went to this 2-3-2 format - we like it even though all we hear are complaints about it being "antiquated"! - there have been 13 times since 1985 when the NBA Finals have been tied at a game apiece entering Game 3 and on 12 of those occasions the Game 3 winner went on to win it all (the Heat was the exception to that rule just two years ago versus Dallas) ... and with that said wouldn't someone out there think Miami should have played with a greater sense of urgency and with a bit more spark?

Geez!

Here's how the NBA Finals series between Heat-Spurs has gone so far (note the home team in CAPS):

DATE

WINNER

SPREAD

LOSER

SCORE

6-6

San Antonio

+ 5

MIAMI

92-88

6-9

MIAMI

- 6.5

San Antonio

103-84

6-11

SAN ANTONIO

- 2

Miami

113-77

Spread Notes Updates:
The Spurs exited Game 3 at 12-5 ATS (against the spread) overall this playoff season for a .706 winning rate and note San Antonio has covered seven of its last nine post-season games in all while dating back to Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinal Round against Golden State. The Spurs are now 5-3 against the odds in all playoff home games this year while sporting a 7-2 ATS mark on the post-season road.

On the flip side, Miami exited Tuesday's Game 3 of these NBA Finals at 10-9 versus the vig this post-season (that's just a .526 winning rate) and note the Heat's 5-6 against the odds at home during these playoffs and 5-3 ATS away.

Believe it or not, the Heat - owners of 66 regular-season wins including that epic 27-game winning streak - has now lost six playoff games and five of 'em since May 24th. Here's the rundown of Miami's playoff losses this spring and note none of 'em exactly were buzzer-beaters (home teams in CAPS):

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-6 Chicago + 13 MIAMI 93-86
5-24 Indiana + 7.5 MIAMI 97-93
5-28 INDIANA + 2.5 Miami 99-92
6-1 INDIANA + 3 Miami 91-77
6-6 San Antonio + 5 MIAMI 92-88
6-11 SAN ANTONIO - 2 Miami 113-77

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA Finals Side & Totals Winners when you check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the game-night/weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays/Sundays. Game 4 is set for Thursday night (tip time at 9:05 p.m. ET) and so pile up your hoops winnings this week! Also, bang out loads of Major-League Baseball Winners too each/every day online and on the toll-free telephone # here with weeknight games available after 1 p.m. ET and weekday games after 11 a.m. ET.

More NBA Finals News & Notes ...
NBA Playoff Betting Favorites will enter Thursday's Game 4 with a 43-38 ATS mark (a .531 winning rate) and note the Spurs are a collective 8-4 versus the vig as chalk sides this post-season and that includes a 4-0 ATS mark against the Los Angeles Lakers, a 2-3 spread mark as favs against Golden State, a 1-1 spread split against Memphis and now a 1-0 against-the-odds mark as favorites against Miami ...

Lots of crazy stat lines in San Antonio's Game 3 wipeout win but how about the fact the Spurs registered a resounding 19 offensive rebounds en route to out-boarding the Heat 52-to-36 overall? More than once the Spurs took the life from Miami's front court by banging back put-back shots after offensive boards with Duncan's seven offensive caroms leading the way ...

Finally, the Heat is 3-23 SU (straight-up) in its history in games played in San Antonio and that's a .115 winning rate. Ugh!

NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 4 preview of Heat vs. Spurs in tomorrow's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez plus stayed tuned for all the upcoming NBA Draft News & Notes plus Baseball and Football too!
17
Nov
18
Nov

Today’s Hot Plays