The San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Miami Heat, and the Texas heat, in the first game of the NBA Finals.
Temperatures at the AT&T Center in San Antonio rose into the nineties after an electrical failure caused the arena’s air conditioning to fail, as the Spurs knocked off the Heat, 110-95.
Despite the sweltering heat, the Spurs were able to overcome a nine point deficit in the fourth quarter. San Antonio rallied behind a 16-3 run to end the game. San Antonio was a scorching 14 of 16 from the field and a perfect 6 for 6 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan showed off his signature fundamental approach en route to a double-double. Duncan led the team to victory with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“We are one step closer to four wins,” Duncan said.
Alongside Duncan’s masterful performance, San Antonio received solid play from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili - the duo combined to score 35 points. Spurs guard Danny Green fueled the team’s comeback by hitting three big three-point shots in the fourth quarter.
Although the heat didn’t affect the San Antonio players, Miami forward LeBron James fell victim to cramping. James’ cramping became evident during the fourth quarter and got so bad his teammates had carry him off the court. The cramps James went through caused the Heat to lose any momentum they had and helped Spurs pull away.
“It felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping to bench like that," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
While the Heat lost game one, they possibility of a three-peat certainly shouldn’t be put to rest. Since 2011, Miami is 5-0 in series’ in which it loses the first game.
Spurs and NBA officials are confident that the AT&T Center’s air conditioning issue will be fixed in time for game two.
“We think it'll be fixed come Sunday and we'll be able to play under normal conditions," NBA executive Rod Thorn said.
The Spurs and Heat will play game two Sunday at the AT&T Center at 7 pm.