Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) defends against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during game 4
San Antonio followed up one of the greatest offensive halves in league history with a balanced attack in game four to blow out Miami and take a stranglehold on the NBA finals.
Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker combined for 39 points and all 13 players got involved in the scoring as the top seeded Spurs rolled over the Heat 107-86 Thursday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“They smashed us,” said Heat star and two-time reigning finals MVP LeBron James. “They are a high-oiled machine and they move the ball extremely well.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t think it could get much better than the first half of game three when the Spurs shot a finals record 76 per cent en route to a 111-92 win.
But unlike game three – when they suffered a minor letdown in the third quarter – this time the Spurs kept their foot on their opponent’s throat for all four quarters.
“Game three was an anomaly. That’s never going to happen again,” Popovich said of the 76 per cent shooting from the floor. “I thought we did a better job tonight than we did in game three at the defensive end.”
Here is a look at how statistically dominating the Spurs have been in the last two games of the NBA finals.
With the Spurs leading by 19 points at halftime Thursday and 21 points at the half in game three, it marked the first time in NBA finals history a road team has led by at least 15 points at the half in two straight games.
The Spurs led by as many as 25 points in both games four and three.
It also marked the 11th time San Antonio has won by 15 or more points in the 2014 postseason.
Spurs star Tim Duncan also made history Thursday, as he recorded his 158th career playoff double double to surpass Magic Johnson (157) for the all-time playoff lead.
San Antonio can wrap up the series with a victory at home in game five on Sunday. Duncan said that won’t be an easy task.
“Great position for us,” he said. “Going back home with a closeout game.
“But they are a very good ballclub. They are the champions and they are going to come out and show a lot of fire.
“We are going to use our homecourt and we are going to come with the same focus that we did in these last two games and hopefully close it out at home.”