NBA Finals: Spurs gain home edge but lose 'Big Mo'

2013-06-11T00:00:00Z NBA Finals: Spurs gain home edge but lose 'Big Mo'The Associated Press The Associated Press
June 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SAN ANTONIO - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili sat in mostly stunned silence, all that playoff experience not preparing them for how they felt after two games.

They were satisfied, yet shaken.

The San Antonio Spurs took home-court advantage from the Miami Heat, but then the reigning champions took them apart.

So as they prepared to bring the NBA Finals back home for the first time in seven years, the veterans struggled with how they were supposed to sum up their situation.

Getting one in South Florida was an accomplishment, but it provided no momentum after the Heat's 103-84 victory Sunday in Game 2.

"Not after tonight. I think they regained that," Duncan said. "Obviously we were glad to win a game here in Game 1. Our goal was to get two. But they got the one tonight. We get to go back home. We have three at home, so we're excited. But if we play like we did tonight, that's not going to matter."

The teams took Monday off, with the series resuming tonight. The Spurs will also host Game 4 on Thursday and Game 5 on Sunday.

The finals were once as much a part of June as the heat in this city deep in the heart of Texas. San Antonio won four titles in a nine-year span starting in 1999, but it hasn't hosted a game in the NBA's championship round since the Spurs took a 2-0 lead over LeBron James and Cleveland in 2007.

Here comes James again, needing to win one here - which hasn't been easy for Miami - but unconcerned that the finals' 2-3-2 format now gives the Spurs an edge.

"It doesn't matter," James said. "Two best teams in the NBA at this point. Both teams have won and can win on each other's floor. So it's not a biggie."

The Heat are just 3-22 in San Antonio, but James had no cause for concern after Game 2, which validated his belief that he can depend on his teammates until he gets rolling, as he did late in the third quarter and in the fourth.

"The supporting cast is really why both teams are here," he said.

The Spurs' Big Three - Duncan, Parker and Ginobili - have teamed for 99 postseason victories together, second-most in NBA history. But they know how quickly "Big Mo" can change in the playoffs - about the time it took James to turn Tiago Splitter's dunk try into a finals highlight with a blocked shot.

"Of course if you look at the result, being 1-1, it's not bad. But you don't want to play like this in an NBA Finals," Ginobili said.

The Spurs are shooting just 41 percent and averaging 88 points in the series. Duncan, the three-time NBA Finals MVP, has made only 11 of 32 shots.

"Obviously, they're contested shots, but they're the shots I feel I can make," Duncan said. ... "I just have to knock them down."


• Who: Heat at Spurs. Series tied 1-1

• When: 6 p.m. • TV: Channel 9

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