The San Antonio Spurs used a historically efficient first half to beat Miami Heat 112-92 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
The Spurs scored 71 points in the first half. They did so while shooting 25-of-33 (75.8%) — an NBA Finals record for field goal percentage in a half.
It was a clinic. San Antonio made 19 of its first 21 shots. In a 10minute, 20 second stretch between the first and second quarters, they didn’t miss a single field goal and pushed the lead to 23 points.
Most of the shots were high-percentage looks created by ball movement, but even the low-percentage shots went in:
San Antonio took a 21-point lead into halftime, held off the Heat during a run early in the fourth quarter, and ultimately cruised to an easy win.
The Spurs have endeared themselves to NBA fans over the last few years by reinventing themselves as a fast-paced, quick-passing team that takes a bunch of threes and doesn’t worry about who scores. The first half of Game 3 felt like a culmination of those defining features.
Kawhi Leonard, after struggling with foul trouble in the first two games, exploded for 29 points on 13 shots. He also played great defence on LeBron James, who scored 22 points, just eight of which came after the first quarter.
The Spurs lead the series 2-1. Game 4, an effective must-win for the Heat, is Thursday in Miami.
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