NBA Finals Game 3 Recap - Hurley Now 3-0 in Finals

Network Now 3-0 in the Finals after winning with Spurs Tuesday Night!

THE NBA FINALS – SIZZLING SPURS STING THE HEAT 111-92 AND SNAG A 2-1 SERIES LEAD AS MR. LEONARD GETS HIS “WAKE-UP CALL” …

THE BASEBALL REPORT: MORE KEY STATS PLUS THE NATS STAY HOT WITH ANOTHER WIN AT SAN FRAN

Go ahead and count us among the folks that could do without the smart-alecky, snarky post-game press conference sound bites from San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich – yes, sometimes (more than sometimes, really!) he’s just a little too acerbic when it comes to dealing with the working media but we will say this about “Pop” …

He sure had his NBA Finals pre-Game 3 message received by star-in-the-making forward Kawhi Leonard!

Hey, Leonard awoke from his two-game, foul-induced funk to pour in a career-high 29 points for the Spurs who – among other things – accomplished the following last night in South Beach:

They snapped Miami’s 11-game post-season winning streak that just so happened to date back to Game 1 of last year’s NBA Finals when San Antonio copped a 92-88 win on that crazy Tony Parker made basket (remember?) …

San Antonio also set an NBA Finals record by shooting a lights-out 75.8 percent – that’s 25-of-33 made field goals – in a 71-point first half that turned out to be more than enough cushion (it was 71-50 at the half) despite Miami’s frantic attempt at a second-half comeback …

Finally, the Spurs stayed one step ahead of the Heat in this best-of-seven series and now might not have to win another road game in this series with Game 5 and Game 7 (if necessary) both back in the Alamo City where electrical fuses can be blown at a moment’s notice and major air conditioning units have been known to go “on the fritz” – you think we’re kidding that we could have a repeat of Game 1!

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in major profits in this year’s NBA Finals – hope you’ve been with us right from the very start of these pro hoop playoffs, folks, because we’ve absolutely cashed in big-time, going 11-5 in the Conference Finals and 3-0 after 3 games of the Finals!! Go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs (Game 6 is Thursday night) and remember to cash in too with all the Major-League Baseball winners as Jim stays red-hot heading into summer!

NBA FINALS – SAN ANTONIO 111, MIAMI 92 – Spurs lead series 2-1
It’s not every day that an NBA team connects on 19 of its first 21 field-goal tries but that’s what the Spurs did at the very start of last night’s pivotal Game 3 and the funny thing is everyone but the aforementioned Parker (15 points overall and just one turnover in 33 minutes) was getting into the act.

No doubt it was Leonard who lit the fuse on a 41-point first quarter with an array of buckets as he nailed 10-of-13 FGs in all with some early layups followed by some key triples and don’t forget how Danny Green (15 points on 7-of-8 FGs) shot to start things off but while everyone on the ABC/ESPN post-game show was busy handing out verbal bouquets we were searching for the answer as to why Miami didn’t approach this Game 3 with any real sense of urgency.

Okay, so megastar LeBron James (22 points) was hot at the very start but the defensive switches overall were terrible, the ball handling was a major mess (see 20 turnovers in all) and even head coach Erik Spoelstra seemingly didn’t have his finger on the pulse of this game as the Spurs did as they pleased and Miami waited two or three or four possessions too late before signaling for time outs.

Maybe you think it a might picky on our part to detail Miami’s weaknesses on a night the Heat shot a blistering 51.6 percent from the floor (that’s 32-of-62 FG makes) but you didn’t see too many dive-to-the-floor plays by the Heat players and you saw way too many defensive breakdowns where San Antonio players raced to the rim and wound up receiving little if any resistance.

Maybe the fantastic finish in Miami’s Game 2 win in San Antonio last Sunday night had “satisfied” the Heat but the two-time defending champions waited way too late before putting up a fight in Game 3 – the Heat did slice the once 25-point Spurs lead down to 7 points in a frenzied third quarter – plus you wonder if the re-emergence of Leonard will be a turning point for a San Ant squad that needed Parker/Tim Duncan to register only a combined 29 points on a night when “supporting role” guys took home the starring roles.

Afterwards, Popovich chuckled and said his team would “never” again shot 75 percent in the first half of a game but we’ll have to sit tight and see what he says to his guys prior to Thursday’s Game 4 because this latest between-games “chat” sure worked wonders!

Here’s the Spurs-Heat NBA Finals series in game-by-game chart form (and note that all home teams are in CAPS below):

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
6-5 SAN ANTONIO - 5 Miami 110-95
6-8 Miami + 4 SAN ANTONIO   98-96
6-10 San Antonio  + 4 MIAMI 111-92

THE BASEBALL REPORT
Last week we brought you a handful-plus Major-League Baseball starting pitchers and what the records were for their respective teams. Now, we bring you a batch more hurlers and you might be very surprised to discover the records of their teams in their 2014 starts thus far:

In the National League …

The Chicago Cubs are 3-10 in the starts made this season by ace RHP Jeff Samardzija who is amongst the leaders in the NL in ERA (2.54) and how about the fact the Cubbies are 1-6 in Samardzija’s starts at 100-year-old Wrigley Field? …

There’s been lots of MLB teams that took a pass on Milwaukee Brewers RHP Kyle Lohse the past couple of years but note the “Brew Crew” is a dandy 9-4 when this veteran pitcher takes the hill and that includes a 5-2 mark on the road and he’s scheduled to start Thursday night at Citi Field against the anemic New York Mets …

In the American League …

The Boston Red Sox have been on the wrong side of the .500 mark for most of this current campaign and note the Bosox are just 6-7 in the starts made by LHP Jon Lester. Boston’s 4-1 in Lester’s five road night starts and 2-6 in all other starts …

Want a picture perfect start to this year? Then look at the Toronto Blue Jays when LHP Mark Buehrle goes on the road as the Jays are 3-and-oh in Buehrle’s road day starts and 3-0 in his away night-time starts …

The Kansas City Royals have a .500-or-worse record when  six different starting pitchers have gone to the mound to start a game but it’s a whole different story when RHP James Shields gets the turn as KC’s a slick 10-4 in “Big Game James’” starts and that includes a 7-2 road record …

Finally, the Los Angeles Angels are 8-4 this year in starts made by LHP Tyler Skaggs and “heads up” when Skaggs starts under the lights at home where the Halos are 5-0. P.S., the Angels are “only” 7-6 in starts made by RHP Jered Weaver and LHP C.J. Wilson.

In other MLB News & Notes …

Don’t look now but the Washington Nationals (34-29) have won three games in a row and eight of their last 10 tilts following last night’s 2-1 triumph in San Francisco. The Nats – who last evening dodged several bullets as the NL West-leading Giants pounded out 10 hits including a 3-for-3 game by 3B Pablo Sandoval – are in a flat-footed tie to start the day with the Atlanta Braves atop the NL East but it finally appears that first-year manager Matt Williams has the wheels moving in the right direction and it sure helps that RHP Doug Fister has found his footing after missing the first few weeks this year as Fister’s now 5-1 with a tidy 2.68 ERA while closer Rafael Soriano just notched his 13th save of the year.

The Nats’ lineup remains without star OF Bryce Harper but note the Nationals have scored 45 runs in their past eight games (that’s 5.6 runs per game) and Washington’s playing a fundamentally sound game these days after a rather ragged start to this 2014 campaign.

NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 4 preview of Spurs vs. Heat in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez.

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