Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):
|8:00 PM||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||Spurs|
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs both come into Game 5 of the 2013 NBA Finals two wins away from earning an NBA championship. The winners of tonight’s matchup will cut that all-important number down to one. The losers will have to do something that neither team has been able to do through the first four games of this series—win two consecutive games—if they want to earn the title.
The defending champion Heat tied the series at two games apiece by totally dominating the final 13 minutes of action in Game 4. With 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Danny Green hit a three-pointer to pull the Spurs within three, 79-76. On Miami’s ensuing possession, the Heat grabbed two consecutive offensive rebounds and cashed in on their multiple scoring opportunities with a layup by LeBron James. The quarter ended with Tony Parker missing a short jumper and the Heat holding a five-point, 81-76, lead.
For the Spurs, the fourth quarter was mired in turnovers and missed layups. Miami took advantage of San Antonio’s miscues and missed opportunities and outscored the Spurs 28-17 in the fourth en route to a 109-93 victory.
With the series tied at two games apiece, Game 5 may prove to be the pivotal moment of these Finals. When the NBA Finals have been tied 2-2 heading into Game 5, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the title 20 of 27 times.
The Spurs have won the odd-numbered games of this series and are a perfect 3-0 in Game 5s of the NBA Finals. If San Antonio can continue those trends with a victory tonight, the Spurs would put themselves one step closer to their fifth NBA championship.
Miami, who is 2-1 in Game 5s of the NBA Finals, can pretty much take control of this series with a win tonight. With the series tied at two games apiece, this best-of-seven has now turned into a best-of-three, and the Heat hold home-court advantage. If the Heat can win Game 5 tonight, they would return to Miami with two opportunities to win one game at home to claim their second consecutive NBA championship.
And that is a scenario that the Spurs want to avoid at all costs.
Manu Ginobili summed it up when he said, “This game is huge. We don’t want to go to Miami knowing that we have to win both. Going there to win one of the two is a different situation. So Game 5, regardless of where you play, it’s huge for you at 2-2. We’ve seen it too many times. We really want to win this one.”
“It is a must-win. We don’t want to go back down there down a game with two games remaining at their house,” added Tim Duncan.
The stage is set, and by the end of Game 5 one of these two teams will be just one win away from earning the 2013 NBA Championship.
|Miami Heat 109||San Antonio Spurs 93||Spurs||Heat|
Random NBA Fan’s Record in Thursday’s Games: 0-1
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 52-30