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Spurs dominate Heat to claim Game 4
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs followed up a record- setting performance with another dominant outing on Thursday night, rolling to a 107-86 win over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
Kawhi Leonard, who scored a career-high 29 points in the Spurs' 111-92 victory in Tuesday's Game 3, had another monster game with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, three assists and three steals to lead San Antonio, which is one win away from the franchise's fifth title.
History is on the Spurs' side with a 3-1 series lead. Teams that have gone up by that margin are a perfect 31-0 in Finals history.
Tony Parker scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half, Patty Mills added 14 points off the bench and Tim Duncan contributed a 10-point, 11-rebound double- double in the win.
Boris Diaw nearly recorded a triple-double with eight points, nine assists and nine rebounds.
"We thought we could come in here and win these games," Duncan said when asked about the lopsided wins in Miami. "We came in here tonight with great focus and put a great game together."
Duncan passed Magic Johnson for most double-doubles in postseason history with 158 and also passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most minutes played in a postseason career.
San Antonio handed the Heat back-to-back losses in the postseason for the first time since Boston took three straight from Miami in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. The Heat had won 13 straight following a loss and went 48 straight playoff games without consecutive losses to snap the third-longest streak in NBA history.
"There is still one more game, we have to win one more game," Parker said.
LeBron James scored 19 of his 28 points in the third quarter, though San Antonio had the game well in hand by halftime.
"They smashed us (in) two straight home games," James said. "They put you in some difficult situations."
"The series is not over and the guys have too much pride to even start thinking about that," he added.
Chris Bosh tallied 12 points and Dwyane Wade finished with 10 on 3-of-13 shooting in the setback.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra put the onus on himself for the poor play from his team.
"I have to do a better job," he said. "We'll weigh everything out and see what we have to do. They have been able to get into their rhythm and flow regardless of what we throw at them."
The Spurs didn't shoot nearly as well as their finals-record 75.8 percent in first half of Game 3, but they still managed to get into their rhythm Spoelstra talked about postgame, converting 55.6 percent from the floor in the opening two quarters to take a 19-point halftime lead.
Their defense was much better too.
Miami, which shot 55.9 percent in the opening half on Tuesday, was limited to just 12-of-34 shooting (35.3 percent) in digging another steep hole to climb out of by halftime of Game 4.
Danny Green, who went 3-for-5 from 3-point range, made a pair of 3-pointers around a Parker jumper to help the Spurs to an early 13-4 lead. Then, unlike in Game 3, Bosh was involved and scored four of the next six Miami points to cut the deficit to three.
San Antonio built the margin back up to nine following a Mills trey with 1:30 left in the first quarter, and the Spurs took a 26-17 lead into the second.
Tiago Splitter's layup and Green's 3-pointer to open the second stretched the lead to 31-17 just over a minute in.
San Antonio maintained its distance throughout the second, with Manu Ginobili hitting a high-arching 3 following a tough offensive rebound from Diaw to put the visitors back up by 14. The trey was part of an 11-1 spurt that helped the Spurs to a 48-29 margin with just over three minutes left.
San Antonio led by as many as 22 late in the half after Leonard's emphatic putback slam off a miss from Mills. James answered at the other end with a 3- pointer to cap the scoring with the Heat trailing 55-36 at the break.
James scored 10-of-12 points during a 12-4 run early in the third that cut the deficit to 61-48, but San Antonio netted seven straight from there to push the margin back to 20.
James did all he could in the third, but his team was non-existent during the frame and the Spurs took an 81-57 lead into the fourth.
Wade's jumper less than three minutes into the fourth capped seven straight from Miami and cut it to 84-66.
Mills countered with a triple and Leonard knocked down a jumper to help the Spurs stay out in front by a wide margin, and each team's bench emptied in the closing minutes as the Spurs won it going away.
Game 5 is set for Sunday in San Antonio.
Duncan entered the game 14 minutes shy of Abdul-Jabbar's 8,851-minute record ... San Antonio shot 40-for-70 (57.1 percent) from the floor and outrebounded Miami, 44-27 ... San Antonio's bench outscored Miami's reserves, 41-30, with James Jones netting 11 points off the bench in the final minutes ... The Spurs owned a 46-30 edge in the paint.
06/13 02:10:35 ET
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