El Conclusion: Duncan, Leonard lead way in victory over Heat

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Miami Heat 87 Final

Recap | Box Score

111 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF 33 MIN | 9-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | +7

I wrote this morning Duncan was the Spurs overlooked MVP for this season and that exact theme rang true this game. Mills hit some big shots, Kawhi had some highlight defensive effort and Tony was the engine early, but all throughout Duncan kept plugging away, doing Duncan things.

Boris Diaw, PF 37 MIN | 5-5 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +23

Moved in to the starting lineup because the Heat play small and he looked really, really good. I mean, he missed one free throw and that’s it. Wasn’t exactly the LeBron stopper that not smart fans made noise about last summer, but he was great overall.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 30 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +6

He was terrible shooting tonight, but everything else was great. His defensive intensity helped keep a Heat run at bay. There was a steal and dunk and then a deflection that forced a LeBron turnover that seemed to kill any momentum the Heat had.

Tony Parker, PG 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +11

He was great in the first half and disappeared in the second. That might sound like a diss, but he was so crucial in the Spurs getting out to such a big lead and the Heat made adjustments on him at the half.

Danny Green, SG 21 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | +10

He didn’t shoot particularly well and can still get lost defending off the ball, but the random help blocks and his work defending Dwyane Wade one-on-one is one of the reasons why he’s so crucial to the Spurs’ success.

Matt Bonner, PF 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +8

No longer the masked. RIP Masked Red Mamba.

Austin Daye, SF 2 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +8

The Spurs new victory cigar was really active in his two minutes of action. Nice work.

Tiago Splitter, C 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +12

The Heat are a terrible match up for Splitter, mostly because they go small a ton and LeBron really likes picking on him right when it looks like he’s rolling. Nonetheless, he looked good tonight, especially finding the secondary cutter on his rolls to the rim.

Patty Mills, PG 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +15

Hit some huge shots at the end of the third/start of the fourth to help quell a Heat run. Also, 10 rebounds!

Marco Belinelli, SG 22 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -4

Solid overall game. Much better than when he was the primary Dwyane Wade and LeBron James defender last time they played.

Manu Ginobili, SG 20 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +10

A very average Manu game, but he was aggressive going to the basket and I always feel like he’s heavily involved in these games where the Spurs have really high assist numbers.

Gregg Popovich

Anytime you can help scheme to hold LeBron to 6-for-18 shooting, you get high marks.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Green’s individual defense on Wade can’t be overlooked. He was just great keeping the Spurs from having to help off the Heat shooters.
  2. As unnoticed as Tim Duncan’s steadiness can be, he still wasn’t the most under the radar star on the court today. That goes to Chris Bosh, who is just a match up nightmare. He can shoot over Diaw and drive past Duncan and Splitter. He’s a ton of fun to watch.
  • Robbie

    Great team effort once again.
    Patty is just so busy when he is on the court. His rebounding has been steadily improving over the course of the year. 9pts, 10rebs and 4asts in just 17mins is very impressive!

  • camnpat

    Great game by the Spurs.

    On a side note, I can’t stand the idol obsession with Lebron by the press. Do you need to comment about the status of the mask, and whether it is black or clear or if he is wearing it or not, every waking minute? Also, it’s pretty annoying that he complains every time that he was fouled. You don’t like even the slightest contact? Maybe you should go play gold instead of basketball.

    Anyway, great team play by the Tim and co.

  • lvmainman

    I’m starting to believe.
    1) Pop finally benched Splitter against a small team.
    2) Patty Mills and Boris Diaw made clutch shots and were aggressive offensively.
    3) Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were great defensively
    4) Spurs showed the kind of game plan the Mavs used to beat the Heat, push the ball, spread the floor, make 3′s

    Tied for 1st in the west and only 1.5 games back for the best record in the league. Can’t wait for the playoffs.

  • spurs10

    Great game! Boris was a standout and Tim was outstanding. Great write-up, thanks!

  • colt

    really liked the lineups/ minute distribution pop threw out there tonight, made me start thinking about a possible finds match up with indi, could u ever see a TD splitter boris kl & manu (I know that sounds kinda crazy, just saying something of that nature vs a large bruising team like them).

  • sdas

    Even though Splitter/Tim/Diaw is a solid big man rotation seeing how the team has trouble against MOBILE bigs w/ range (Bosh/Aldridge/Blake/T-Jones/Morris Twins/Lee/Ibaka/West) I hope RC/Pop are giving Ivan Johnson a hard look as an option for the last spot on the roster. Besides being a fleet footed & a high energy player, unlike Ayres, he won’t compromise the offense since he can actually CATCH & FINISH. Diaw/Kawhi/Danny can rotate at the 3 spot…..Manu/Belly can do spot duties if needed. It’s never too late, just remember Nazr, PJ Brown & Birdman were picked up late in the season. They all ended up playing a role on a championship team. He actually plays like Birdman now I think of it.

  • Tim in Surrey

    And what’s more important, since the Thunder lost last night, only 0.5 games behind them for #1 seed in the west.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Not enough shooting and I really don’t like either Boris on Paul George or either big man on David West. Plus I’d rather make them adjust to us than the other way around. If anything, go small and quick rather than big and slow.

  • Joseph Dooley

    We’ll let Bosh be a jumpshooter all game long.

  • Spurholic Mumbai

    Is this the signature win the team has been looking for the whole season?

  • AHeights

    Except that he hits 3s against us like he’s a 7-foot Ray Allen.

  • AHeights

    Yes. Definitely.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    His Cleavlend humility was also a myth. Just google Psychology Today Lebron James. He is mentally and phisically soft egomaniac.

  • camnpat

    Shocker. I figured as much when he made a 1hr TV special just to announce whether he was staying or leaving Cleveland.

    Skill, talent, immaturity, ego, and a complicit media feeding it is never a good combination.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    I am suprised how long the Cleavlend media bubble was maintained.