Miami's “not one, not two, not three...” sentiment of old felt distant Sunday night, as the Heat were blown out by the Spurs 104-87 to conclude a frustrating five-game NBA Finals loss.
The Heat had little answer for San Antonio's execution, depth and hot shooting for the third straight game. For a team formed with sky-high expectations, simply returning to the big stage for a fourth straight year fell short of the initial promise surrounding the arrival of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010.
James took to the podium after Game 5 and defended the Heat's accomplishments, which include titles in 2012 and 2013.
"We went to four straight Finals in four years," James said. "We're not discrediting what we were able to accomplish in these four years. We lost one, we won two, and we lost another one.
"[We will] take 50 percent in four years in championships any day. Obviously, you want to win all of them, but that's just the nature of the game. You win some, you lose some. You've just got to come back the next year and be better as an individual, as a team, and go from there."
James scored 31 points to go with 10 rebounds and five assists Sunday, but once again had little help from the rest of the Heat as San Antonio cruised to its fifth title in franchise history.
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Addressing his three career losses in the finals (with Miami to Dallas in 2011 and with Cleveland against the Spurs in 2007), James kept it short.
"They all hurt," he said.
Asked about his plans for the future, James said, "I will deal with my summer when it gets to that point."
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