Coming off one of the most severe temperature malfunctions in basketball history, both the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are hopeful things are back to normal for Game 2. Due to air-conditioning failure, it made the arena feel more like a sauna than an actual arena, causing James to battle cramps and eventually forcing him to sit out the latter portion of the fourth quarter. The Spurs pulled away to win the opener of the first Finals rematch since 1997. The Spurs did confirm there was an electrical failure for the power that runs the air-conditioning system had occurred.
Nevertheless, it was the 38-year old Tim Duncan that impressed everyone in that game, especially with the temperature and him being one of the oldest players on the court. Tim Duncan finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 110-95 victory over the Heat on Thursday night. In addition, Manu Ginobili had 16 points and 11 assists, Tony Parker added 19 points and eight assists for San Antonio.
The Spurs shot 59 percent from the field in Game 1, which is fantastic, but not surprising since they’ve been playing like that all playoffs. Once LeBron left the game due to his cramps, the Spurs immediately took advantage and ended up outscoring Miami 36-17 in the fourth quarter.
Even with LeBron only playing 33 minutes, he still managed 25 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. James also accumulated a new milestone by joining only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players with at least 4,000 points and 1,000 assists in the postseason in NBA history.
To help LeBron, Dwyane Wade had 19 points and Chris Bosh added 18, but the Heat noticeably struggled with the temperatures that soared to over 90 degrees in the second half. Ray Allen wasn’t silent in Game 1 but did struggle finishing with 16 points and 3-8 from three point range. Like James, Allen also accumulated a milestone by moving past Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher into second place on the career list with 49 3-pointers in the NBA Finals. Robert Horry, who is of course a former Spurs forward, is the leader with 56.
The Spurs ended up extending their NBA-record streak to eight straight home playoff wins by 15 or more points. Since the Heat went into the fourth quarter with the lead, the Spurs are beatable at home so if everything (including the air-conditioning) is good to go so will be the Heat. Definitely expect a much more focused Miami Heat team as they hope to take the series back to Miami with the series tied 1-1. As for San Antonio, they will be aggressive as always and will be hopeful to take the series-commanding 2-0 lead.
Game 2 is scheduled to tip-off on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC!