Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat now have its proverbial back against the wall after dropping Game 1 in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. Heat fans learned something Western Conference fans have known for a long time, no matter what, the Spurs just keep coming.
The Spurs are arguably the most fundamentally sound team in the NBA and led by the best coach in a generation, Gregg Popovich. In Game 1, they put on a display protecting the basketball from the normally tough Heat defense.
The Spurs had just four turnovers in the entire game, tying an NBA Finals record for fewest turnovers by a team. On the flip side, the Spurs had 16 assists in the game giving them a 4-1 assist to turnover ratio in Game 1 against the Heat.
So much for the theory the Spurs would be rusty after so much time off.
The Spurs also improved to 5-0 all-time in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and are 8-4 overall in NBA Finals road games. Overall in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Spurs are 13-2 and 7-1 on the road. And if Heat fans wanted more reason to worry, statistically the team that wins Game 1 has won the championship 71.2 percent of the time, according to NBA.com.
Of course, the Heat also lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals last year and it turned out pretty well for Miami in the end.
During Game 1 of the finals, the Spurs dominated the fourth quarter. Heat superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade managed just six points in the quarter, with James scoring all of the points. Overall, the Spurs defense held Miami to 5-18 shooting in the fourth with only one basket made outside the paint, according to NBA.com.
Comparing the Big Three of the Spurs to the Heat’s Big Three was almost even, but the Spurs did squeak out a 54-48 advantage by the time the final horn sounded.
Finally, while the Heat jumped out to a 9-0 advantage on fast-break points in the first half of Game 1, the Spurs defense locked down and gave up zero fast-break points to the normally dynamic Heat offensive attack, according to NBA.com.
Still, the Heat has won 10 straight games following a loss and haven’t lost back-to-back games since January 8-10. It’s also the fourth time in the Big Three era in Miami that the Heat have lost the first game of a series and in all other three instances, the Heat swept the next four games.