Spurs exact revenge, claim fifth NBA crown | Inquirer Sports

Spurs exact revenge, claim fifth NBA crown

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
, / 02:00 PM June 16, 2014

Spurs NBA Win

The San Antonio Spurs celebrate after Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. The Spurs won the NBA championship 104-87. AP

MANILA, Philippines—Revenge was sweet and it was served cold.

With the air-conditioning running fine, and the San Antonio Spurs firing on all cylinders, the 2014 National Basketball Association Finals challengers exacted revenge against the defending champions Miami Heat 104-87 at the AT&T Center Monday.


Kawhi Leonard bagged the 2014 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP trophy and paced the Spurs with 22 points and 10 boards.


San Antonio lit up in the second quarter after an arctic first period erasing a 16-point lead courtesy of a stop-and-pop three from Leonard that put the Spurs up, 37-35.

“We remember what happened last year and how it felt in that locker room and we used it and built on it and got back here and it’s amazing,” Tim Duncan said. “It makes last year OK.”

Manu Ginobili went on a personal 9-2 run with a step-back three capping the scoring spectacle to put the boards at 45-37.

Duncan, a three-time Finals MVP, finished off with 14 points and eight boards

Ginobili came off the bench scorching the Heat with 19 points.

LeBron James, who bagged the previous two Finals MVP, led all scorers with 31 points, and adding 10 rebounds and six assists while 2006 Finals MVP Dwyane Wade had 11.


“They played exquisite basketball this series and in particular these last three games and they are the better team. There’s no other way to say it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. AP

The Spurs won four titles in nine years, but hadn’t been back on top since 2007.

San Antonio will face questions as it has for years about the age of its core, and whether Duncan, Ginobili and coach Gregg Popovich want to stick around. The Heat will brace for the potential free agency of James, Wade and Bosh, and will need younger, fresher pieces around the three All-Stars if they all stay.

But this moment belongs to the Spurs. Playing a methodical style for many years that was predicated on throwing the ball into Duncan made San Antonio respected, but never beloved. The Spurs were TV ratings killers, casual viewers finding them not much fun to watch.

But Popovich opened up the offense a few years ago, making the Spurs an easy-to-like, tough-to-beat group that thrives on ball movement and 3-point shooting.

“You showed the world how beautiful this game is,” Commissioner Adam Silver told the Spurs during the postgame award ceremony.

A decade and a half after winning their first title in 1999, when Duncan was in his second season, the Spurs remain the NBA’s model organization, a small-market team that simply wins big and hardly ever does it with a high draft pick. Instead, the Spurs found players overseas or in other organizations who would fit the Spurs’ way of doing things and mesh with the Duncan, Parker and Ginobili, the winningest trio in postseason history.

That included Leonard, acquired in a draft-night trade with Indiana after playing at San Diego State, and Patty Mills, an Australian who scored 17 points off the bench.

While it took San Antonio a little while to get warmed up, the Spurs eventually made it look stunningly easy again much to the delight of the home crowd, with fans standing, chanting and dancing much of the second half.


Spurs’ formula for victory is to not forget 

Spurs freeze Heat, take 3-1 lead in NBA Finals

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Originally posted: 11:03 am | Monday, June 16th, 2014

TAGS: Championship, fifth, Miami Heat, NBA Finals, revenge, San Antonio Spurs, Sports

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