MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After being beaten by the San Antonio Spurs in Miami on Tuesday, the Miami Heat look to rebound in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat took part in a shoot around Thursday morning and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talked about Tuesday’s stinging loss.
“This is a good competition, this is what happens. They came fully involved and with great force, they got us on their heels. There are periods of the game where we defended very well in the 3rd quarter,” said Spoelstra who added, “The first quarter was an abomination. you have to give them great credit for that.”
He also commented about today’s shoot around.
“Today was a good prep. We understand the outcome or how many points you lose in one game doesn’t dictate at all the next game, you have to now get on to the next opportunity.”
If history repeats itself, the Heat will be okay. The last 13 times the Heat have lost a playoff game, they’ve responded every time with a win.
Now down 2 games to 1 against the Spurs, the Heat need a big response Thursday night.
“[It’s a] must win to us,” said Heat forward Rashard Lewis. “Don’t want to go back to San Antonio being down obviously 3-1 cause San Antonio has a tough building to play in. They showed that pretty much throughout the regular season that they’re one of the best teams to play on their home court.”
On Tuesday night, the Spurs came out smoking and Miami’s defense didn’t offer much resistance early in Game 3.
The Spurs played like they were on the court by themselves. San Antonio made 19 of its first 21 shots and shot a finals-record 75.8 percent in the first half of a 111-92 victory.
Just like last year, Game 3 was a blowout that left the Heat facing a 2-1 deficit. Miami came back to win the series, so nobody was overreacting to what happened Tuesday, especially since the Spurs themselves don’t expect to shoot that way again. But the Heat have things to clean up before Game 4 on Thursday, or they risk going back to San Antonio facing the end of their title reign.
The biggest concerns for the Heat from Tuesday night include Chris Bosh getting only four shot attempts after scoring 18 points in Games 1 and 2, James trying to do too much to rally the Heat and ending up with seven of their 20 turnovers and Mario Chalmers missing all five shots and falling to 3 for 12 in the finals.
Chalmers has been the focal point of plenty of scrutiny during the Finals but according to Heat co-captain Udonis Haslem, confidence isn’t an issue with Miami’s starting point guard.
“If it was up to Mario it’d be the Big Four and not the Big Three,” explained Haslem. “I don’t think he’s losing confidence at all.
“He has the capability of getting steals, getting out on the break, getting guys shots, getting guys involved and he’ll knock down shots when the time comes.”
No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, and a victory Thursday would guarantee the Spurs two chances to win the series on their home floor, starting with Game 5 on Sunday.
Miami’s season cannot end Thursday. But if the Heat lose Game 4, the Spurs can safely go ahead and order that fifth championship banner. Only eight teams in NBA history have successfully rallied from 3-1 deficits, and none of those eight did it during the finals.
“This is a must win,” proclaimed Chris Bosh. “We can not go to San Antonio down 3-1, that is out of the question so yes this is a must win.”
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