On the big stage, like the finals of the NBA playoff, the team that is able to follow the fundamentals better is likely to emerge the winner.
The basketball coaching manual may have a list of basics, but Miami Heat just focussed on ball possession in Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs to make a comeback in the seven-match series. On Thursday night, with Heat winning the contest 109-93, the series is tied 2-2.
The Spurs began their quest on a sound note, racing to a 10-point lead (15-5). The score hinted at another downfall for Heat, but unexpectedly the Spurs started to miss easy baskets, and the balance started to tilt in Heat’s favour.
Despite trailing 26-29 at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs pushed hard and caught up with the defending champions at the end of the second quarter. With the scores tied at 49-49, and LeBron James exhibiting his skills on the court, the task only become tougher for the home team in the remaining period of the contest.
In fact, James was at his best, scoring 33 points. James, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the ‘Big Three’ of Heat, did bulk of the scoring. The trio scored 85 out of the 109 points.
On the other hand, the Spurs’ leading scorers of Game 3 --- Gary Neal and Danny Green, weren’t able to find their rhythm. Even Tony Parker, who scored 15 points in the first half, looked off-colour in the second half.
The third quarter proved crucial for both the teams, and Heat coach, Eric Sploestra, conceded that the body language of his players was a decisive factor in their surging ahead. “Our activities under the rink were very fruitful,” he said on their ball possession in rival territory.
With the Spurs losing ball possession on rebounds and missing easy baskets, and Heat sustaining their efforts, it signalled the end for the home team. In the post-match conference, Spurs’ coach, Gregg Popovich, said the turn over hurt them most in the second half. “We allowed Heat to score over 20 points. It proved costly,” he added.
With James hinting at “more work to be done”, it could be a warning for the Spurs for the next game on Sunday night.