By Ian Parfrey @Ianparfrey
One of the great things about attending a Nets game is the mixture of boredom and disgust with which PA announcer David Diamante announces the names of opposing players who make baskets.
The Spurs discovered tonight that the combination of a sore Tony Parker hamstring, and renewed confidence from the Heat’s big three, wasn’t going to equal a win.
Parker scored 15 points in the first half, and went scoreless in the second. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade, who, coming into tonight had scored 35 of his 43 points before halftime, killed the Spurs with 18 second-half points.
Wade finished with 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals, to spark a 109-93 win. LeBron James finally found his mojo as well, scoring 33 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 13 boards. The Heat shot 53%, and committed only 9 turnovers, while forcing the Spurs into 18.
Miami made a lineup change, inserting Mike Miller into the starting lineup for Udonis Haslem. The change had a negligible effect, as Miller was scoreless in 21 minutes. The difference was that James and Wade both attacked the rim early, and then shot their jumpers with confidence afterwards.
The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan’s 20 points. Danny Green and Gary Neal continued to shoot the lights out, but the Heat were effective in limiting their looks. They still combined for 6-of-9 threes and 23 points.
Manu Ginobili scored 5 points on 1-5 FG, while posting a game-worst -22 in his time on the floor. San Antonio is going to need more from him, especially with Parker not at 100%.
San Antonio closed the half on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 49, and Chris Bosh’s dunk just after the buzzer was waved off. The Spurs’ last lead came midway through the third quarter, when a Danny Green triple put them up 61-60. Miami’s lead at the end of the third was five points, 81-76.
After Gary Neal drilled a ridiculously long three in LeBron’s face to make it 84-79, Dwyane Wade took over. He had 10 points and 2 steals over the next four and a half minutes, causing Gregg Popovich to empty his bench with a little under four minutes left and the Heat holding a 102-87 lead.
With the Heat and Spurs now alternating blowouts, it’s a bit difficult to predict how this will go. Miami has re-taken home-court advantage, but both teams have proven that they’re capable of winning on the road. The series may end up turning on the health of Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker.
Game 5 tips off Sunday night at 8pm in San Antonio.