The Miami Heat showed why they are the defending NBA champions by responding to a Game 3 blowout in with a route of San Antonio in Game 4. They’ve stolen back homecourt advantage and evened the series up at two games apiece. Game 5 goes on Sunday as the Spurs play their final home game of the season and this could be the game that makes or breaks the NBA Finals on the betting lines.
Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs
Odds: Heat -1.5
LeBron James did play much better in Game 4, putting up 33 points and 11 rebounds in a 109-93 beating of the Spurs, but the story of the game was the play of his teammates. Dwyane Wade rolled back the years with 32 points, six rebounds and six steals, and he took over to. He put the Heat up for good early in the fourth quarter while King James was resting on the bench. Chris Bosh had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 52.9% from the field and kept getting better as the game went on. They even got 14 points off the bench from Ray Allen. But it was the play of the Big Three that carried Miami to the win, and they were much better than their San Antonio counterparts.
Tim Duncan scored 20 points, but grabbed just five rebounds, while Tony Parker added 15 points and nine assists, but didn’t score in the second half. Danny Green cooled off dramatically from his Game 3 explosion, netting just 10 points for the Spurs, who had 18 turnovers to nine for the Heat and seemed like they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, when they were outscored 28-17. Gary Neal, who also went off in Game 3, dropped 13 off the bench for the Spurs, who were dominated in the second half and had no answer for Miami’s athleticism, which caused them to make a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes on the offensive end and turn the ball over.
Miami has grabbed the NBA betting edge in the sportsbooks as they’re favored by 1.5 points on the road in San Antonio for Game 5. They got the win they needed on the road to send the game back to South Beach for at least one more game. The 2-3-2 may seem to favor the team that gets three straight home games, but it is incredibly tough to beat any team three times in a row – even at home, especially if they’re the defending NBA champions.
The Heat don’t need Wade to put up 32 points again but he does need to be able to take the pressure off James and Bosh needs to play Duncan to a standstill – or at least close to that. The only player that the Heat really don’t have an answer for is Parker. However, with Manu Ginobili fading and Parker’s hamstring hampering him (may not allow him to play 40-plus minutes), The Heat have an opening to take control of the series. Look for them to do exactly that on the strength of their athleticism and go home with a chance to clinch.
Pick: Heat -1.5