Spurs dethrone Heat in NBA Finals, claim fifth title in franchise history
SAN ANTONIO -- The Spurs shook off some early-game jitters to run away with a 104-87 victory over the Heat in Game 5 of the Finals at the AT&T Center on Sunday, clinching their fifth title in franchise history.
The back-to-back defending champion Heat saved their best for first, racing out to a 22-6 lead in the opening period. San Antonio looked discombobulated and unsure of itself in the game's opening moments, committing a number of turnovers and failing to hit a field goal until more than four minutes into the game.
From there, the Spurs shifted from first gear straight into sixth, closing the first half on a 41-18 run, thanks in large part to Manu Ginobili, who finished with 19 points (on 6-for-11 shooting), four rebounds and four assists. Kawhi Leonard was masterful again, hitting a big momentum three-pointer with a little less than five minutes remaining in the second quarter to give San Antonio its first lead of the game. He would finish with a team-high 22 points (on 7-for-19 shooting), 10 rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal.
The rout was only beginning. The two teams started the second half tentatively, but Patty Mills fixed that, scoring 11 points in less than three minutes to help the Spurs build a 20+ point lead.
LeBron James' best efforts weren't enough for the Heat: the four-time MVP scored 20 points in the first half, matching the total produced by all of his teammates combined. James finished with a game-high 31 points (on 10-for-21 shooting), 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
The title marks the fifth of Tim Duncan's career, and the future Hall of Famer joins John Salley as the only two players in league history to win titles in three separate decades. San Antonio, led by Duncan and coached by Gregg Popovich, previously won titles in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
"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," Duncan said after the game. "It makes last year OK."
San Antonio's Finals victory exacts revenge for their 2013 Finals loss to Miami in seven games.
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