June 18, 2018
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Green, Neal propel Spurs by Heat for 2-1 series lead

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

SAN ANTONIO — Danny Green scored 27 points and Gary Neal added 24 to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat 113-77 Tuesday night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

The Spurs made an NBA Finals-record 16 3-pointers to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Green made seven of nine 3-pointers, and Neal, a reserve, made six of 10. The last of Green’s 3-pointers gave the Spurs a 102-71 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

The game was such a blowout that both teams cleared their benches with just under six minutes remaining. Tim Duncan scored 12 points. Manu Ginobili scored just seven points and Tony Parker had just six for the Spurs.

Dwyane Wade scored 16 points for Miami. LeBron James and Mike Miller both scored 15 points, and Chris Bosh added 12 for the Heat.

San Antonio hit half of its 32 3-point attempts, while Miami made eight of 18 tries from beyond the arc.

The Spurs went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter to take a 59-46 lead and force a Miami timeout.

San Antonio remained hot when play resumed. A fast break dunk by Ginobili bumped the Spurs’ lead to 66-52 and led to another timeout by the Heat.

Again, the break in the action changed little, even though Parker went to the locker room briefly with a calf injury. A layup by Kawhi Leonard made it 73-52.

James got hot at the end of the third quarter, scoring nine points in the final 1:36 of the period to pull the Heat within striking distance. Splitter’s dunk in the closing seconds of the third quarter gave the Spurs a 78-63 lead. San Antonio outscored Miami 28-19 in the period.

Gary Neal connected on four of six 3-pointers, including one at the halftime buzzer, and had 14 first-half points as the Spurs took a 50-44 lead at the break.

Duncan, who had nine points in Game 2, poured in 10 points by halftime Tuesday.

The Spurs, who had 17 turnovers last game, had eight at the midpoint.

Wade scored 12 in the first half to lead the Heat, who trailed by as many as 11 in the second quarter.

James struggled before intermission, going 2-for 8 for four points to go along six rebounds and four assists. He was visibly frustrated, slamming the scorer’s table during a timeout before the second quarter ended.

GAME NOTES: The Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bill Fitch before the game. The award recognizes a career coaching achievement and a standard of integrity, competitive excellence and tireless promotion of NBA basketball. Fitch coached 25 years, and he ranks eighth all-time in wins. He won an NBA championship with Boston Celtics in 1981. … In previous NBA Finals, there have been 13 series that have started 1-1 in a 2-3-2 format. The winner of Game 3 has gone on to win 12 of those 13 series. … The Heat began the night an NBA-high 15 playoff road wins since the 2011 postseason. … Entering Game 2, San Antonio had a 17-7 record over five appearances in the NBA Finals. The .708 winning percentage is the highest in Finals history. … Four teams had previously made 14 3-pointers in an NBA Finals game, while the only winning margins higher than San Antonio’s 36 belong to the Chicago Bulls (42 over the Utah Jazz in 1998) and Boston Celtics (39 over the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008). … The Spurs had 19 offensive rebounds en route to a 52-36 edge on the boards. … Miller has made eight consecutive 3-pointers over the past two games. … Game 2 of the NBA Finals, played Sunday night between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, received a 10.2 overnight rating from the Nielsen Company. According to Sports Business Daily, the rating is down 14 percent last year’s 11.8 for the Heat-Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2, which aired on a Thursday night. Sunday’s game is also down from a 10.5 rating for the Dallas Mavericks-Heat Game 2 in 2011, also aired on a Thursday night. The Spurs-Heat Game 2 is the lowest-rated NBA Finals game since the Los Angeles Lakers-Orlando Magic Game 5 in 2009. Still, ABC is expected to win in primetime for the 32nd straight time that an NBA Finals game has aired on the network. The three-hour telecast from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET, including more than 30 minutes of postgame coverage, averaged a 9.5 rating on ABC.

NBA NOTEBOOK: Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins will not be offered a new contract and is no longer with the club, the National Basketball Association team said on Monday.

Hollins’ contract was scheduled to expire on June 30, but his departure from the organization was effective immediately, the team said in a statement.

Hollins had been coach of the franchise at various times over the past seven seasons, serving as interim coach for 60 games in 1999-2000 when the club were in Vancouver, and had a four-game stint during the 2004-05 season in Memphis.

He became the head coach during the 2008-09 season and has been in Memphis since.

Hollins had a 214-201 record, including a franchise best 56-26 this past season.

Speculation about Hollins’ job swirled after the Grizzlies were swept in four games by the San Antonio Spurs for the Western Conference championship.

After finishing second to San Antonio in the Southwest Division, the Grizzlies had beaten the higher seeded Los Angeles Clippers in six games and shocked the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in five to reach the conference finals.

“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” said Jason Levien, Grizzlies CEO & managing partner in a statement.


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