The San Antonio Spurs have officially gotten their revenge on the Miami Heat, winning Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 104-87, after going down by 16 points early to secure the franchise's fifth NBA championship on Sunday night at the AT&T Center.
Kawhi Leonard put forth another magnificent performance, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had an excellent game off the bench, adding 19 points. Patty Mills was also dynamite off the bench, scoring 17 points and knocking down five threes. Four of those threes were in the third quarter when the Spurs opened up a 21-point lead.
San Antonio shot 12-of-26 from three-point land on the night. Thanks to Ginobili and Mills, the Spurs' reserves outscored the Heat's subs by 23 points. San Antonio also got it done with defense, holding Miami to just 40-percent shooting.
LeBron James had 31 points on 10-of-21 shooting to lead the Heat, but the four-time MVP got little help from his star teammates as the dream for a three-peat died. Chris Bosh had 13 points, while Dwyane Wade continued to show his age by scoring just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
On the brink of elimination, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed up his starting lineup, going with Ray Allen over the struggling Mario Chalmers. The move worked at first, as Miami scored the first eight points of the game, with James capping off the run with a put-back dunk:
The Heat opened up a 22-6 lead, but the Spurs came roaring back thanks to hot three-point shooting. Miami did stabilize a bit after its lead was trimmed to four, pushing the margin back out to nine at the end of the quarter. James scored 17 points in the opening frame and also put in strong work on the defensive end.
The second quarter was when the tide turned. As the Heat offense stagnated, the Spurs came alive, with Leonard and Ginobili providing numerous highlights. Ginobili even turned back the clock, throwing down a vicious slam:
With the crowd hyped up, San Antonio went up by as many as eight and took a seven-point lead into the break. Miami managed just 11 points in the second quarter, shooting 4-of-15 and turning the ball over four times.
Things didn't get much better in the third quarter for the Heat, as they only scored 18 points while the Spurs' offense continued to roll. With three-pointers raining down, San Antonio turned the seven-point halftime lead into a 19-point margin heading into the final frame.
Miami made a brief run at the outset of the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 14. But San Antonio had nothing to do with a comeback attempt, beating back the Heat and securing the title to erase the bad memories of the 2013 NBA Finals.