San Antonio Spurs is making a habit of winning bounce back games in the 2013 National Basketball Association playoffs. Spurs have lost four games in the post-season and each time they have rebounded with an impressive victory.
In the NBA finals, they were blown out 103-84 by Miami Heat in game two, but bounced back to win by 36 in game three, 113-77. They lost 109-93 in game four, then jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in a 114-104 win on Sunday in game five.
The series now shifts to Miami, where Spurs can clinch their fifth title in franchise history with a win at American Airlines arena.
All five Spurs starters finished in double figures on Sunday, including Manu Ginobili and Green, who had six three pointers to break Ray Allen’s all-time record for the most three pointers in the NBA finals.
Ginobili, who was starting his first game of the post-season, had a season-best 24 points and 10 assists.
“He has confidence in himself and he should just continue to compete,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Ginobili. “That’s what he has done his whole career.”
Ginobili finished with 20 points and 10 assists just once previously in the playoffs and that came in 2007 in the semifinals against Utah.
Nearly three years after the formation of a partnership designed with the sole purpose of winning multiple NBA championships, the Miami Heat’s ‘Big Three’ — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — are on the cusp of a second Finals letdown.
The All Star trio have been unable to prevent Heat falling 3-2 behind to Spurs in the best-of-seven championship series.
“I have to come up big, for sure, in Game Six,” James, who is the cornerstone of the Heat’s success, told reporters after Heat’s 114-104 loss on Sunday. “But I believe we all have to play at a high level in order to keep the series going.”
The trio reached the NBA Finals in their first season together but were upset by Dallas Mavericks. The following year they dispatched Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.
After a sluggish start to the 2013 NBA Finals, they finally found their groove in a game four victory last week but were unable to carry that momentum into the fifth game of the series. Capping what has been their best season together with a second championship could mark the beginnings of a dynasty, but a loss could put an ugly stain on their legacy.
After all, Miami Heat opened the 2012-13 campaign as overwhelming favourite and enjoyed a franchise-record 66-win regular season which included a stunning 27-game winning streak that was the second longest in the NBA history.
The series now shifts to Miami where Heat will have to do something it has been unable to do in nearly a month — win consecutive games. Heat has alternated wins and losses over its last 12 playoff games. Few expected Heat to be pushed to the brink. — Agencies