Functioning at an efficiency that stunned most observers for the second straight game, San Antonio cut and spliced the Heat, embarrassing them again in a 107-86 shellacking in Game 4 for a commanding 3-1 series lead.
A victory in San Antonio in Game 5 Sunday would avenge last year’s collapse to the Heat and give the Spurs their fifth championship.
“I’m pleased that they performed as well as they did while we’ve been in Miami, and that’s about as far as it goes,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.”
The Spurs smoked Miami in every conceivable fashion. LeBron James had 28 points, but they were inconsequential. Dwyane Wade looked beaten and had just 10 points. Meanwhile, everyone in a Spurs jersey scored, with Kawhi Leonard leading the way with 20 points and 14 rebounds. He was the best player on the floor again, after scoring 29 points in Game 3.
“They smashed us,” James said. “Two straight home games got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these last two games. It’s just that simple.”
Tony Parker added 19 points, and Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 57 percent from the field and are hitting 54 percent in the series. Boris Diaw was spectacular off the bench with 9 assists, and Patty Mills had 14 points off the bench.
James, who battled cramps in Game 1, left the court and briefly returned to the locker room midway through the first quarter Thursday. But he had 10 quick points in the third quarter to bring Miami within 13. However, San Antonio pushed it to 81-57 after three and never looked back.