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Game 4: Burned

June 14, 2013

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(Photos by Edward A. Ornelas of the San Antonio Express-News)

More than any of the previous three games, the story of Game 4 was told by the box score. The Heat beat the Spurs 109-93, and that 16-point margin of victory can be directly attributed to several key statistics:

  • The Spurs committed 19 turnovers, leading to 23 Heat points, while only forcing 9 turnovers and generating just 8 points off of those – a point differential of 15.
  • The Spurs only scored 38 points in the paint, compared to 50 for the Heat – a differential of 12 points.
  • The Spurs’ starting five was outscored by the Heat’s starters 91-61 (a 30-point differential), with the Heat’s “Big 3” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scoring a whopping 85 points – more than DOUBLE the paltry 40 scored by the Spurs’ “Big 3” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

There were several other critical factors leading to the Miami win, such as seven blocked shots by the Heat, eight missed free throws by the Spurs, and the Heat outrebounding the Spurs 41-36.

The Spurs also committed countless defensive lapses throughout the game, and got an all-around atrocious effort from Tiago Splitter, who had as many turnovers as rebounds and shot 0-for-3 on the night.  He wasn’t just a non-factor, he was a full-blown liability.

Game 3 heroes Danny Green and Gary Neal – who scored 27 and 24 points respectively on Tuesday – were unable to match either of those numbers COMBINED in Game 4, scoring a total of just 23.

Tony Parker deserves credit for a real gutsy effort.  His availability for Game 4 was in doubt, due to a hamstring injury suffered in Game 3, but he came out like gangbusters in the first half by scoring 15 and almost single-handedly keeping the Spurs in the game.  It’s amazing the game was actually tied at the half, given how dominant the Heat had been during most of the first two quarters.

But ultimately, Parker was unable to sustain that level, going scoreless in the second half.  Given how well the Heat played – especially James and Wade – it’s hard to believe the final margin was only 16 points.  But the Spurs didn’t do themselves any favors with all of the turnovers, missed free throws, botched lay-ups, and repeated defensive lapses.

Game 5 looms huge, because the Spurs simply cannot afford to go back to Miami down 3-2 having to win both of the final two games on the road.  They have to play much more like they did in Game 3 than Game 4 to have a chance in Game 5.  Thanks to a break in the schedule, they have two days to figure it out.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew permalink
    August 20, 2013 7:49 pm

    The problem, as I see it, is Brook Lopez clearly had Tiago Splitter tied up in a basement in Hoboken, with BL playing in Split’s place.

    • August 21, 2013 9:18 am

      I have completely erased the 2013 Finals from my memory – it is now as if they were never even played.

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