James' triple-double not enough as Spurs win Finals opener
MIAMI — The well-rested San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 92-88 Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday night in Miami.
San Antonio led 88-81 with 2:03 left and had just enough to hold off Miami, which closed to within 88-86 with 1:20 remaining.
The key was a bank shot by Tony Parker with 5.2 seconds left. Before he released the shot, Parker fell to the ground and got rid of the ball a split-second before the shot clock expired.
Parker had 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The veteran Spurs, who had not played since sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies on May 27, were also led by Tim Duncan, who had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Manu Ginobili added 13 points for the Spurs, while Concord, N.H.'s Matt Bonner had three rebounds in 7 minutes, 17 seconds of play off the bench.
Miami’s LeBron James had a triple-double: 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
Wade, who was slumping earlier in the playoffs, had 17 points in his second straight strong performance. He also had 21 points in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.
Heat forward Chris Bosh, who entered Thursday’s game in an 8-for-34 shooting slump, had 13 points.
The Spurs, who had trailed at the end of every period and had a deficit as large as nine points, took a 81-78 lead with 5:59 left in the game.
The intensity went up another level in the fourth quarter. An example of that was a play in which Danny Green accidentally stepped on the head of Heat wing Mike Miller.
The teams played to a 20-20 standstill in the third quarter, leaving the Heat up 72-69. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who had just six points in the first half, led all scorers in the third with seven points.
For the Heat, Bosh led all scorers with six third-quarter points.
The Heat led 52-49 at the half after holding a 24-23 lead following the first quarter.
The big story early was that Duncan was charged with two fouls and went to the bench with 1:43 left in the first quarter. He questioned the first call -- a block on Wade -- but he seemed to have no issue with the second one, a hack on James.
Duncan returned with 7:55 left in the half. By that time, the Spurs trailed 38-29.
When he returned, Duncan made an immediate impact, scoring eight points, blocking one shot and grabbing one offensive rebound in his first two minutes back.
Wade led all scorers in the first half with 13 points, and James had 10.
Duncan had 12 points at intermission.