San Antonio neutralizes LeBron James, trounces Miami (complete coverage)

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 113-77 Tuesday in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. San Antonio now leads the series 2-1, and the team is in a strong position for the rest of the series:

The Spurs didn’t necessarily need to have brilliant performances from [Tim] Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — the three holdovers from the past three championship teams — because they got more than enough support from the likes of [Danny] Green, Gary Neal and [Kawhi] Leonard, a trio making their NBA Finals debut. Green led all scorers with 27 points, Neal had 24 and Leonard had 14 points and 12 rebounds while continuing to harass LeBron James into another subpar performance. ¶ The team that has won Game 3 with the series tied 1-1 has gone on to win the championship 11 of the past 12 times. The only team to lose in that scenario was the Heat, which lost the final three games against the Dallas Mavericks two years ago.

Michael Lee

Columnist Mike Wise calls on Miami’s LeBron James to take control of the remaining games in the series:

The NBA Finals are now three games and 12 quarters old, and I’m still waiting for LeBron to definitively take over just one. ¶ Nobody was more impressed by his ability to trust in his teammates during lean times these playoffs. During long stretches of Dwyane Wade clanks and Chris Bosh 20-footers that went just 19, during fumbled passes and altogether slog-like offensive execution, LeBron has stayed true to his guys.LeBron’s loyalty to players who sometimes are playing so poorly they don’t deserve to be on the floor with him is to be commended in an I-Gotta-Get-Mine world. ¶ But it’s time for him to get his — to become more Michael than Magic, to be more of a ruthless scorer than a consummate playmaker. It’s time for LeBron to be the game’s most potent force or it will soon be time to admit the harsh truth: The Spurs just might be better from top to bottom, a collection of parts that work together instead of combust apart during tough times in June.

Mike Wise

Instead of James, San Antonio’s Green and Neal dominated the third game of the series. Those two athletes “found a home in San Antonio after overcoming years of disappointment”:

Green and Gary Neal know what it feels like spend time in Europe and the NBA Developmental League and now both have also had the experience of burying three-pointer after three-pointer and leading the Spurs to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. ¶ Green and Neal combined to make 13 of the Spurs’ NBA-record 16 three-pointers on a night that neither will ever forget – especially if the Spurs can get two more wins and claim a fifth title. ¶ “Those guys stepping up on this stage this game was huge for us,” Duncan said. “We don’t expect a performance like this from those kind of guys, but they were great. They did it. They found their spots and knocked them out.”

Michael Lee

Watch Post Sports Live debate which is the stronger team below:

The Post Sports Live crew debates whether the San Antonio Spurs or the Miami Heat are the better overall team. (Post Sports Live)

The box score from last night’s game is available here, and the schedule for the remainder of the championship is available here.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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