The point guard sparked the Heat late in the third, after San Antonio had taken a 62-61 lead. He converted two three-point plays, Allen and Mike Miller nailed 3-pointers, and James made only his third field goal of the game during a 14-3 finishing spurt that sent Miami to the fourth with a 75-65 advantage.
They opened the fourth with nine straight points to make it 84-65, erasing any chance of their first two-game losing streak in five months.
The Spurs had only four turnovers in Game 1, tying an NBA Finals record low. But they surpassed that total in the first quarter, Parker committing two of their five after not coughing it up once in the opener, and the Spurs looked more like the sloppy Indiana Pacers from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals than the Spurs of Game 1.
The unrecognizable play continued, Parker firing passes on the pick-and-roll right into a Heat player’s leg on multiple occasions and even getting yanked barely three minutes into the third quarter after his struggles continued.
The Spurs responded with seven straight points without him to get back within one. But by the end of the period, it was Chalmers who was the best point guard on the floor.
Notes: The Spurs remained at 131 playoff wins, two back of the Lakers for most in the NBA since 1997, when Duncan was drafted. … Clippers veteran Chauncey Billups, a former NBA Finals MVP, was chosen Sunday as the first winner of the NBA’s Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. It was named for Maurice Stokes, who was paralyzed in an on-court accident in 1958, and teammate Jack Twyman, who became Stokes’ legal guardian and watched over him for 12 years until Stokes died in 1970.
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