Monday, 16 June 2014 | MYT 6:22 PM
San Antonio throttle Miami to win NBA title
San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker (centre) of France and the rest of the team holds up the Larry O’Brien Trophy after beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals game five at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs are 2014 NBA Finals Champions after winning the best of seven series 4-1. — EPA
SAN ANTONIO: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 104-87 on Sunday to capture their fifth NBA championship and spoil the Heat’s chances of winning a third straight title.
The top seed Spurs throttled the two-time defending champs in the final three games to take the best-of-seven NBA finals 4-1.
San Antonio, who also won titles in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, suffered heartbreak last year in a seven-game loss to Miami.
They became the first team to win the NBA finals after losing a game seven in the finals the year before since the Detroit Pistons did it in the 1988-89 season.
The Spurs lost the final two games of the 2013 finals after being up 3-2. They led with 28 seconds to go in game six last year but let the game slip through their fingers.
“Last year’s loss was devastating,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
“A day didn’t go by where I didn’t think about game six.
“So I think in general for the group to have the fortitude that they showed to get back to this spot speaks volumes about what kind of fibre they have.”
Popovich claimed his fifth ring and now trails just Phil Jackson (11) and Red Auerbach (nine) for the most in history. Pat Riley and John Kundla also have five titles.
Rising Spurs star Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs in scoring in the final three blowout wins and was named Most Valuable Player of the finals.
Leonard scored 22 points in game five and finished with 10 rebounds in front of a standing-room only crowd of 18,581 at the AT&T Center arena.
The Spurs shot just 28 percent from the floor in the first quarter and trailed by 16 at one stage before turning it around in the second quarter to take a 47-40 lead into halftime.
Argentina’s Manu Ginobili and Australian Patty Mills came off the bench to score 19 and 17 points respectively for the Spurs, whose bruised egos wouldn’t let them forget last year’s loss to the Heat.
LeBron James tallied a game high 31 points and had 10 rebounds while Chris Bosh scored 13 points for the Heat, who were competing in the finals for the fourth straight year. - AFP