The Finals Stat: Game 3

VIDEO: The Spurs explode for 41 points in the first quarter

The basics
Pace 90.7 90.7
OffRtg 104.9 116.3
EFG% 57.6% 61.2%
OREB% 16.8% 21.6%
TO Ratio 19.9 17.2
FTA rate 0.267 0.346

MIAMI — The San Antonio Spurs thumped the Miami Heat, 111-92, in Game 3 of The Finals on Tuesday. One stat stood out from the rest as the Spurs took a 2-1 series lead and regained home-court advantage.

The stat

1 – Number of times the Heat defense got consecutive stops in the first half.

The context

The shooting numbers were ridiculous. The Spurs shot 25-for-33 (76 percent) in the first half, hitting seven of their 10 3-point attempts. That’s an effective field goal percentage of 86 percent. Kawhi Leonard (6-for-7) and Danny Green (6-for-6) were on fire.

That’s obviously not sustainable, but the Spurs also got to the free-throw line (17 attempts) and took care of the ball (only five turnovers) in the first half. Their 71 points came on just 44 possessions. And it took 38 possessions (and more than 20 minutes) for Miami to finally get two stops in a row.


After they did that, the Spurs proceeded to score 11 points on their final six possessions of the half. They hit some ridiculous shots, but also got good shots.

They had almost four times as many attempts in the paint (18) as they had from mid-range (5). For the game, San Antonio took just eight shots from mid-range, the same number they attempted in their Game 1 victory. In their Game 2 loss, they took 23 mid-range shots.

The Spurs made a change in the starting lineup, replacing Tiago Splitter with Boris Diaw. Their original starting lineup had played only 12 total minutes in the first two games, so it wasn’t a major adjustment. But the Spurs’ offense has always been better with Diaw on the floor, so the offensive explosion can’t be completely dismissed as a coincidence.

The Spurs aren’t going to shoot this well again, but the Heat do have to figure out a way to get stops. This was their worst defensive season since they came together in 2010, and they’ve got to find a new level soon.

Spurs’ first-half shot chart

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
EFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO Ratio = Turnovers per 100 possessions
FTA Rate = FTA / FGA


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  2. dfm46 says:

    What a fool!!!!! Everybody knows that Miami is who the league wants to win. Hell 1/2 of all ESPN broadcasts feature Lebron and the Heat. They even feature a “Heat Zone” or something stupid like that. They all want the Heat to 3peat. Ain’t gonna happen. Not good enough defense, not good enough bench, not good enough guard play, not good enough coaching. Also, Leonard came out of his shell in game 3, and that’s bad news for Lebron.. 7 turnovers in game 3 (an all time NBA Finals record)and only 8 points in the second half.


  3. Lebron James Fan says:

    As the Head Coach of Miami said: “WE DESERVE IT”. MIAMA players gave SPURS VERY WIDE space to take multiple 3-point shots.


  4. G R Srinivasan says:

    Danny Green cutting to the basket was too much of a shock to Miami. The offense came from unexpected directions and before they could adjust, Kawhi and Danny had time and again aced them. Next game Pop could take the height advantage of the twin towers Duncan and Tiago to plan his plays and force Miami into foul trouble.

  5. JimD54 says:

    There is NO WAY the Heat can beat the Spurs team they played last night 3 more times…The Spurs can smell the rings already with home court again I don’t think they will blow it this year

  6. heat are a joke.was it too hot last night. and mr. premadonna james all time record for turnovers.oh it was my cramps.what a sissy.way to go SA. kick their butts.

  7. Masa says:

    Tonight plaid basketball only LbJ and DW, the others were simply watching the spurs making big shots on their face. I think the night of Leonard and Green was something exceptional but not repeatable, they could not go on with such FG percentages and Game4 will be different. Miami needs more from Cole and Chalmers, James could not be everywhere everynight

  8. Alan Hollway says:

    Before everybody gets the knickers in a twist, this series will depend upon which team takes the initiative with new team adjustments before they are tried out. It will be a series of twists and turns with both teams making adjustments to counter the other. The spurs have the advantage with greater depth but Heat can still respond with a few tweaks of their own What needs to be understood is what happens in one game won’t necessarily win the next. Chalmers can put in a cameo performance still and Battier is yet to be utlised effectively. Spurs also have Mills to share more of the load. Next game Spurs should start with Marco Gienelli and Patty Mills in the starting 5 go with Duncan, Parker, Lenoard, Gieneilli and Mills bring in Dawes and Ginobli quickly and early off the bench but late in each quarter have Splitter covering the paint. But both teams are evenly matched and looking to take advantage of adjustments. Spurs this time to win in 7 because of the change of format and home court advantage.

    • Bryan R says:

      Geez, I don’t recall any Spurs players named Dawes, Gieneilli, or Lenoard. And I’m an avid Spurs fan…

  9. Scott C says:

    so, the talking heads have been asking where Kawhi is….well, he’s down in Miami and Lebron wishes he wasn’t!!!…. Go Spurs Go…. give the Heat two more tours of the wood shed and let’s get the party started down on the River Walk!!!

    • MR210 says:


      So much for Heat’s perfect record at home.

      Hope Leonard will “Kawhi-et” LBJ and the Heat again.

      I hope Old Man River plays great in the remaining games – want to see him get one more Finals MVP (and RING) before he retires!


  10. bballjunkie1 says:

    Typical Spo fashion.Pop started Diaw, what did Spo do nothing. Spurs knocked them out in first quarter. Miami has the best player but Spurs have the best coach and some new depth from last year. Its about match ups Chalmers, Jones arent gonna be effective in this series. Pop realizes these things and makes adjustments accordinly. Spo will stay the course, substiiute at the 4,2 minute mark down 15, 20. Lebron will not last long physically with him, its already cost him 1 championship and 1st in eastern conference this year, everybody beat them. Rooting for ya Lebron, but Pop knows how to coach to win and he has weapons this year.

    • Marco29 says:

      Don’t worry, Spo will make his move in the next games. I would not be surprised if we see more Battier and maybe Cole start instead of Chalmers
      Those are the 2 best coaches in the NBA and they are both looking for the best adjustments to win this series. That’s what makes it so interesting.
      Can’t wait for game 4 to see the adjustments and if the Miami never loses 2 consecutive games pattern will survive.
      Go Spurs Go

    • Marco29 says:

      In some pervious games I did not agree with how Pop was dealing with leads getting cut without calling time outs but I think he did a great job in game 3 to maintain the lead even though Miami pushed wery hard to cut it.

    • Mudd744 says:

      Miami is just playing with them. When I see a team play lazy n let the best shooters on the other team shoot open shots it looks fake

    • Heat Fan... says:

      Well Placed …i dont know why he took so long to take chalmers off the floor and play the 5 that had the spurs on the back foot…cole is not effective too he has to find someone off the bench to play ball, there is no mike miller and now they are feeling the heat…

      • OMcRae says:

        Eric Spoelstra is a fool ( I am sure I misspelled his name it just as he mismanages the best player in the world) and Pat Riley must be senile to let him continue his coaching ways. James Jones in with Battier on the bench? LeBron on the bench for too long? Chalmers keeps coming in and playing irresponsibly? Come on Miami!!! Additionally, the play calling was/is biased as anyone with eyes can see that Tony Brothers has anti-Miami issues and the other two refs didn’t seem to know or understand what three second violations and traveling calls are. Go ahead, give it to San Antonio. We all know that is the conspiracy for the foreign league Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobli to retire with the ring.