SAN ANTONIO (AP) — From their low moment in the NBA Finals, back to the top of the league.
The San Antonio Spurs turned the rematch with the Miami Heat into no match at all.
The Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending the Heat’s two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games.
A year after their heartbreaking seven-game defeat, their only loss in six finals appearances, the Spurs won four routs to deny Miami’s quest for a third straight championship.
“Hard to believe, isn’t it? Manu Ginobili said. “We played at a really high level.”
Kawhi Leonard, named the finals MVP, had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs. San Antonio added this title to the ones the Spurs won in 1999, 2003, ’05 and ’07. They nearly had another last year, but couldn’t hold off the Heat and lost in seven games.
No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals, but the Heat were confident they could keep this season going, Bosh saying earlier Sunday that the Heat were going to win.
It appeared they would do it easily the way the game started, with James coming out with force on offense and shutting down Parker on defense as Miami went ahead 22-6.
But it didn’t last.
While it took San Antonio a little while to get warmed up, the Spurs eventually made it look stunningly easy again — much to the delight of the home crowd, with fans standing, chanting and dancing much of the second half.
Notes: It was the Spurs’ 12th win by 15 or more points, most ever in a postseason. The Spurs outscored opponents by 214 points in the postseason. … Miami had won 11 straight series, tied for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history.
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