SAN ANTONIO — What do you do when your best player, the best player in the world by most people’s standard, cannot handle the heat in the AT&T Center?
If you’re the Miami Heat, you watch LeBron James head to the locker room early with cramps and fall victim to a San Antonio Spurs team that beat the Heat twice Thursday night in Game 1 of The Finals.
The air conditioning in the building went out early (officially, “An electrical failure for the power that runs the AC system” went out). LeBron went out late. And Danny Green helped the Spurs turned the lights out on both the heat and the Heat in the final four minutes of the game.
The Spurs handled their business, winning a fantastic game with a late push (their 14-for-16 shooting effort was the best in Finals history) to hold on to home court advantage.
Bigger questions linger for Game 2 Sunday … will LeBron recover in time and will the AC be fixed?
Through all the LeBron discussion that will ensue tonight, here's 1 thing that's a fact: he's never won a Game 1 on the road—
J.A. Adande (@jadande) June 06, 2014
This is how you #BeatDaHeat …
Spurs doing what you’d expect from a championship outfit … finishing in style! Game 1 in the books.
Believe the hype (and the numbers) …
Numbers never lie, right?
Spurs 25-1 this season when Danny Green makes at least three 3-pointers.—
Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) June 06, 2014
Down goes James! Down goes James!
LeBron comes back in and makes a layup to stop the bleeding but cannot make it back up the floor. Ball game for the Spurs. Seriously, if he sits the rest of the way it’s over.
Cramps are absolutely the worst to contend with.—
Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) June 06, 2014
The AC issues in here are legit, btw. But LeBron’s going to get hammered for this by his haters. No way around it.
Fans chanting, "Beat the Heat!" Might be chanting that even if Miami wasn't here.—
Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 06, 2014
Money Green …
Cramps catching up to LeBron …
And just like that, the Spurs are right back in it. Two flat-footed jumpers from LeBron and the Spurs answer. LeBron on the bench making ugly faces. #cramps #cannotbeatdaheat
LeBron walked to the bench like Fred Sanford.—
J.A. Adande (@jadande) June 06, 2014
LeBron head down in pain as trainer massages his legs.—
Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 06, 2014
Real Spurs need to stand up!
Spurs look totally out of character here. They are not playing like the machine we saw earlier in the playoffs. Too early for a #CodeRed, but we’re heading in that direction if they don’t clean up the mess.
Spurs averaged 12.2 turnovers in the Western Conference playoffs. Tonight they have 20.—
Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 06, 2014
Like a Bosh …
Chris Bosh is playing his tail off, working inside and out and matching Duncan’s impact on both ends of the floor through the early fourth quarter. #likeabosh … his 4-point play gives the Heat the 86-79 lead inside the 10-minute mark.
Sloppy Spurs show up in the 3rd!
LeBron heating up (sorry) is not a good thing for the Spurs, who picked a horrible time to get sloppy with the ball.
VIDEO: Ray Allen coast-to-coast
You were in diapers son!
Shuttles worth turning back the clock…. Last time you saw Ray get back to back layups? And a dunk to top it off—
Draymond Green (@Money23Green) June 06, 2014
All even … again!
The Spurs need to put the ball in Manu’s hands if they want to win this thing. Can’t see any other way they finish it off right.
Manu definitely…100%…was a pirate in a different life, right?—
Kevin (@Scheity) June 06, 2014
All even … again!
Forget the conditions and remember why we are here. #GreatGame
Cool Breeze Stephenson …
Where’s Lance when you need him?
Heat check …
DWade is a Chicago native but he’s adapted to the climate down south. He’s having no trouble getting what he wants against the Spurs. And he’s keeping the Heat close. His 3-pointer cuts the Spurs’ lead to 58-57.
Dang, D. Wade.—
Barbara Titus (@BarbaraTitus) June 06, 2014
Gimme a break …
Wild first half. Spurs up 54-49. Manu and the bench are on. AT&T air conditioning is off. Get ready for another 24 minutes of crazy!
Spurs 54, Heat 49 at halftime. Spurs 7 of 14 from three-point range. 19 total TOs. Big 3 and Allen with 45 combined.—
Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) June 06, 2014
In 49 other states it’s just a statistic. In Texas it’s called “The Manu Effect” …
Bench points: Spurs 24, Heat 12—
Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) June 06, 2014
It’s getting hot in here!
Like Nelly said …
Holy crap. The A/C actually is out here, apparently. Not just my imagination.—
Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) June 06, 2014
This is truly a team game in these parts. #SpursWay
Spurs 42 points divided equally between starters and bench. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green both scoreless (0-3 FG combined).—
Jeff Caplan (@Caplan_NBA) June 06, 2014
Love of the game …
Games like this remind us all why we fell in love with ball in the first place.
On Tuesday nights in January, when it's the second night of a back-to-back and the score is lopsided, this is the basketball you think of.—
Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) June 06, 2014
Redemption Bowl 2014!
It’s good to see these two future Hall of Famers in the form they’re accustomed to playing in during this time of year.
I Didn’t touch him Mr. Ref …
True statement. Ask any one of them and they’ll tell you as much!
No NBA player has ever committed a foul. Ever.—
mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) June 06, 2014
Can’t give Shuttlesworth the corner 3 …
Ray Ray with the corner 3 …[entire building does the Larry Bird face in hands move]
Ray Allen from the right corner for 3. Where have I seen that before…..?—
Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) June 06, 2014
No way they keep this pace up. No way!
24 possessions each. Faster pace than any quarter the Heat played in their last 2 series.—
John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) June 06, 2014
Steamy conditions …
Dude just walked by my seat sweating like he’d just run here from Austin. Is it that hot outside? I know it’s smoking hot inside the building, which could make things interesting later on …
It is sweltering inside AT&T Center. Given LeBron's heavy minutes and history of cramping he will need Gatorade by the vat—
Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) June 06, 2014
Three the hard way?
The King joins Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in yet another elite club …
Manu wants his payback and starts it right, with the triple from up top … and another from the wing!
Ginobili's 2 3-pointers set this place on fire—
J.A. Adande (@jadande) June 06, 2014
Spurs are playing like a marvelous cohesive unit! A group of 5 hasn't gelled this well since Buckingham & Nicks first joined Fleetwood Mac.—
Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) June 06, 2014
Dream Shake, too …
Then he went Dream on Timmy! Sick …
That Dream Shake from Wade was everything.—
Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) June 06, 2014
We’ve got our first man down of The Finals. Wade jab steps Splitter and the Spurs big man went flying backwards like someone hit him with a tree branch.
Splitter reacted to that Wade jab step like it was an actual jab—
(@netw3rk) June 06, 2014
Get your predictions in before tip off! The NBA TV crew already weighed in …
The Resurrection of Rashard continues …
I have to admit, I love Rashard Lewis being thawed out from his deep freeze for the conference finals and The Finals. I don’t care if he scores a bucket or not. Just love seeing another “old head” inserted into the mix this time of year. It’s a tradition that dates back decades. We’ll see he has a tangible impact on this series.
Rashard Lewis, who played 12 minutes in the 2013 FInals, starts tonight. Expect Andersen-Battier-Allen-Cole off bench. Haslem as spare.—
Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 06, 2014
Shuttlesworth Shoe Game!
Ray Allen comes strong in this department every time out. You knew the 2014 Finals would be no different.
Tony Parker is good to go!
I had no doubts that he’d be ready to go, but Mr. Parker is a go for tonight.
Heat are red hot from the feet up …
Gotta give it to LeBron and DWade, showing up for Game 1 with the right stuff on. From the floor up. #shoegame #tight
Spurs Fever running rampant …
Walking through downtown San Antonio in the early morning I stopped at a corner to wait for the light. Cat in a Spurs t-shirt slides up next to me, takes his ear phones off, smiles and says, “Spurs in four.” Stick his ear phones back on and walks off confident that this series won’t last beyond next week this time in Miami.
As you might expect, folks in this town have Spurs Fever something terrible. Everywhere you go it’s “Go Spurs Go!” Can you blame ‘em? They’ve waited a year for this chance for redemption.
But there are lines I would not cross. And since my hair is fading a bit on the top and in the back, the Tim Duncan cut is simply not an option …
Let’s get it started!
You wait a year for payback and you’re tired of being the nice guy. So going with the white or silver t-shirts wasn’t happening. The black t-shirts on every seat were a given … #BlackOut