2014 NBA Finals
(San Antonio Spurs)
English: ABC and ESPN3
Spanish: ESPN Deportes
|Radio network||ESPN Radio|
|Announcers||Kevin Calabro and Hubie Brown|
|Eastern Finals||Heat defeated Pacers, 4–2|
|Western Finals||Spurs defeated Thunder, 4–2|
The 2014 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2013–14 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeated the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in five games (4–1) for the Spurs' fifth NBA championship in the franchise's history. The Spurs outscored the Heat in the series by the largest average point differential (14.0) in Finals history. San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard was named the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
This was a finals rematch from the previous NBA season, which Miami won in seven games, handing the Spurs the franchise's first ever Finals defeat in 2013. This marked the 12th Finals rematch, but only the fifth since the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. The Spurs had home-court advantage since the team finished the regular season with a better record (62–20) than the Heat (54–28). For the first time since 1984, the Finals was played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format (Games 1 and 2 at home for the higher seeded team, Games 3 and 4 at home for the lower seeded team, Game 5 at the higher, Game 6 at the lower, and Game 7 at the higher). The series began on June 5, 2014, and ended on June 15, 2014.
Although LeBron James did not repeat as league MVP, he was still among the top players in the league for the two-time defending champions. Dwyane Wade was rested regularly during the regular season to preserve his knees, but returned to his old form during the playoffs. The third All-Star of the Big Three for Miami, Chris Bosh, played well to end the Eastern Conference Finals.
This was the Miami Heat's fourth straight appearance in the NBA Finals. They were the first team since the 1987 Boston Celtics to make it to four straight NBA Finals, and only the fourth team in NBA history to achieve that goal, besides the 1960 Boston Celtics (on their way to eventually making it to ten straight appearances), 1985 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1987 Boston Celtics. They were seeking to become the first NBA team to three-peat since the 2002 Los Angeles Lakers. Heading into the postseason, the Heat had a 11–14 record in the last 25 games. In the first round, they eliminated the Charlotte Bobcats and won 4–0. In the Conference Semifinals, they eliminated the Brooklyn Nets and won 4–1, despite being swept by Brooklyn in the regular season. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they again played the Indiana Pacers in a rematch of the previous year's Conference Finals. Miami won the series 4–2, eliminating the Indiana Pacers from the playoffs for the third straight year.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs had a deep roster, with no player averaging 30 minutes during the regular season. Their offense relied on ball movement, being called "one of the most beautiful-to-watch teams in the NBA" by USA Today.
This was the San Antonio Spurs's sixth appearance in the NBA Finals, and they headed to the postseason with the best record in the NBA and a franchise record 19-game winning streak, ending with a 22–4 run their last games. In the first round, they faced their Texas rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, who surprised the Spurs by taking the series to seven games despite the Spurs sweeping the Mavericks in the regular season for 2 consecutive years. San Antonio won 4–3. In the Conference Semifinals, they eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers and won 4–1. In their third consecutive Conference Finals, they eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder and won the series 4–2, despite being swept by Oklahoma City in the regular season, and for the first time, they qualified for back-to-back Finals appearances.
Road to the Finals
|San Antonio Spurs (Western Conference Champion)||Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)|
1st seed in the West, best league record
2nd seed in the East, 5th (tied) best league record
|Defeated the 8th seeded Dallas Mavericks, 4–3||First round||Defeated the 7th seeded Charlotte Bobcats, 4–0|
|Defeated the 5th seeded Portland Trail Blazers, 4–1||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the 6th seeded Brooklyn Nets, 4–1|
|Defeated the 2nd seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, 4–2||Conference Finals||Defeated the 1st seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–2|
Regular season series
The regular season series was evened 1-1, each won at home:
January 26, 2014
|San Antonio Spurs 101, Miami Heat 113|
The Spurs rebounded from their seven-game loss to the Heat in the 2013 Finals to win the series, 4–1, for the franchise's fifth NBA championship. After winning their first four over nine seasons, this was their first since 2007. San Antonio blew out Miami in each of their four wins. They outscored Miami by an average of 14.0 points in the series, the largest differential in Finals history. The Spurs finished the playoffs with 12 wins by 15 points or more, the most ever in the postseason. Miami had won 11 straight playoffs series, which was the fifth longest in league history.
The Spurs' Kawhi Leonard was named the Finals MVP after leading the team in scoring in each of the final three games, averaging 23.7 points and shooting 68.5 percent, after scoring just nine in each of the first two games. Overall, he averaged 17.8 points on 61 percent shooting in the series, and led the team with a 57.9 three-point field goal percentage. Leonard was the third-youngest recipient of the award (22 years and 351 days old) since its inception in 1969, and the youngest since Magic Johnson in 1982.
Tim Duncan of the Spurs led all players in the series with 50 rebounds. He was followed by teammate Boris Diaw (43), who was inserted into the starting lineup beginning in Game 3. Diaw led all players in the series in assists (29).
9:00 pm/8:00 pm
|Miami Heat 95, San Antonio Spurs 110|
|Scoring by quarter: 20–26, 29–28, 29–20, 17–36|
|Pts: LeBron James 25
Rebs: Chris Bosh 9
Asts: Norris Cole 5
|Pts: Tim Duncan 21|
Rebs: Duncan, Diaw 10 each
Asts: Manu Ginóbili 11
|San Antonio leads series, 1–0|
Tim Duncan scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 110–95 win in Game 1. The game featured the AT&T Center's malfunctioning air-conditioning system, which caused temperatures in the arena to reach up to 90 °F (32 °C) in the second half. The conditions caused Miami's LeBron James to dehydrate and suffer cramps, limiting him to just five minutes of playing time in the fourth quarter. With James on the bench, San Antonio went on a 15–4 run, and outscored the Heat 36–17 in the fourth quarter.
James, who also suffered cramps in the finals two years earlier, finished the game with 25 points while playing only 33 minutes. Manu Ginóbili had 16 points and 11 assists and Tony Parker contributed 19 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who shot 59 percent for the game.
The Spurs shot 14/16 in the 4th quarter. The Spurs' 87.5% conversion rating in the 4th quarter was the most efficient field goal conversion rating for any team in any quarter in NBA Finals history.
8:00 pm/7:00 pm
|Miami Heat 98, San Antonio Spurs 96|
|Scoring by quarter: 19–26, 24–17, 34–35, 21–18|
|Pts: LeBron James 35
Rebs: LeBron James 10
Asts: Wade, Chalmers 4 each
|Pts: Tony Parker 21|
Rebs: Tim Duncan 15
Asts: Tony Parker 7
|Series tied, 1-1|
James rebounded from cramps in Game 1 with 35 points and 10 rebounds to lead Miami to a 98–96 win to tie the series. Bosh made the go-ahead three-point field goal on a pass from James with 1:18 remaining in the game, as the Heat won their 13th straight following a postseason loss. Temperatures in the AT&T Center were comfortable for the game after a broken circuit breaker was repaired following Game 1.
After enduring criticism for not finishing the previous game, James started slowly in the first quarter, shooting 1-for-4 with three turnovers. Meanwhile, the Spurs began the game making 10 of their first 15 shots. James then made 11 of his next 13, and finished 14-for-22 while played a game-high 37 minutes. He had 11 points in the second quarter, when the Heat overcome an early 11-point deficit. The score remained close through the remainder of the game. The Spurs held a two-point lead with 6:43 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Miami's Mario Chalmers elbowed Parker in the midsection for a flagrant foul. Parker and Duncan then combined to miss four straight free throws. James scored 33 in the final three quarters; he had 22 in the second half, when every shot he made was from 18 feet (5.5 m) or further. He also made a key strip of Parker late in the game.
Bosh finished with 18 points, and Wade and Rashard Lewis added 14 for Miami. Parker had 21 points and Duncan scored 18 points with 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won eight consecutive home games by at least 15 points. Parker passed Michael Jordan for eighth place on the NBA's all-time playoff assist list.
9:00 pm/8:00 pm
|San Antonio Spurs 111, Miami Heat 92|
|Scoring by quarter: 41–25, 30–25, 15–25, 25–17|
|Pts: Kawhi Leonard 29
Rebs: Tim Duncan 6
Asts: Parker, Mills 4 each
|Pts: James, Wade 22 each|
Rebs: James, Andersen 5 each
Asts: LeBron James 7
|San Antonio leads series, 2–1|
The Spurs took a 2–1 lead in the series after a career-high 29 points from Leonard and a Finals-record 75.8% shooting effort from the team during the first half. Leonard, limited to only 18 points in the first two games, made his first six shots and was 10-of-13 for the game. San Antonio led by as many as 25 and were comfortably ahead most of the game, including 71–50 at the half. The 21-point margin was the largest halftime lead in the Finals by a road team since Game 3 in 1996 by the Chicago Bulls against the Seattle SuperSonics. The Heat scored 10-straight points in the third quarter to bring the score to 81–74, the closest they would get to the Spurs the rest of the game.
San Antonio's insertion of Boris Diaw into the starting lineup created more ball movement, as the Spurs achieved the first 70-point first half in the Finals since the Los Angeles Lakers' 75 from Game 2 in 1987 against the Boston Celtics. The Heat, who had been 8–0 at home in the playoffs, were led by James and Wade with 22 points apiece. Miami's 20 turnovers were their playoff-high, with James committing his Finals career-high of 7.
9:00 pm/8:00 pm
|San Antonio Spurs 107, Miami Heat 86|
|Scoring by quarter: 26–17, 29–19, 26–21, 26–29|
|Pts: Kawhi Leonard 20
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 14
Asts: Boris Diaw 9
|Pts: LeBron James 28|
Rebs: LeBron James 8
Asts: Mario Chalmers 5
|San Antonio leads series, 3–1|
Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds in another rout of the Heat, as the Spurs won 107–86 to take a 3–1 lead in the series; no team had ever come back from a 3–1 deficit in the Finals. San Antonio again built a large lead on the road before halftime, taking a 55–33 lead in the second quarter after scoring seven consecutive points, culminated by a soaring dunk by Leonard. The Spurs defense held Miami to just 35 percent shooting in the first half after allowing the Heat to shoot 50 percent overall in the prior game. The Heat had followed their prior 13 playoff losses with a win.
The Heat struggled to defend the Spurs' crisp ball movement, orchestrated by Diaw and his game-high nine assists. San Antonio made 57 percent of its field goals, with Parker scoring 19 points, and Duncan adding 10 points and 11 rebounds to surpass Magic Johnson for the most double-doubles in NBA Playoffs history (158). Duncan also eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's previous mark (8,851) for most postseason minutes played. Miami was led by James, who had 28 points and eight rebounds, but their other starters combined for only 28 points on 32 percent shooting. Wade made only 1 of 10 from the field through three quarters, finishing with 10 points.
8:00 pm/7:00 pm
|Miami Heat 87, San Antonio Spurs 104|
|Scoring by quarter: 29–22, 11–25, 18–30, 29–27|
|Pts: LeBron James 31
Rebs: LeBron James 10
Asts: LeBron James 5
|Pts: Kawhi Leonard 22|
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 10
Asts: Boris Diaw 6
|San Antonio wins NBA Finals, 4–1|
The Spurs won 104–87 in their fourth rout of the series to win the championship in five games and avenge last season's heartbreaking loss to the Heat in seven games. Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, and was named the Finals MVP. James had 17 first-quarter points for the Heat, who got off to a fast start in building an early 22–6 lead. San Antonio bounced back to outscore Miami 37–13 from the beginning of the second quarter through the middle of the third.
Ginóbili had 19 points and four assists, and Patty Mills scored 17 points off the bench for the Spurs. James finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while Bosh had 13 points and Wade added 13 but shot only 4-for-12 from the field.
Game 5 was the last game together for the Big Three as James left to re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers who made to the Finals in 2015 but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games and again in 2016 and beat the Golden State Warriors in seven games for the franchise's first championship coming back from a 3-1 deficit, with James winning the MVP. The departure of James, in addition to injuries and a newly revamped roster, contributed to the Heat winning only 37 games, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2007–08 season.
The Spurs brought back their entire roster from the Finals in hopes of a repeat, but finished as the sixth seed with a 55–27 record, their worst finish in five seasons. They lost in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. The following season, the Spurs would finish with a 67-15 record, second behind the Golden State Warriors, but fell in the second round to the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-2. Tim Duncan would then announce his retirement from the NBA on July 11, 2016, making this the last finals appearance and last championship in Duncan's career and for the Spurs Big Three consisting of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.
San Antonio Spurs
|2013–14 San Antonio Spurs roster|
|2013–14 Miami Heat roster|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
- San Antonio Spurs
|Ayres, JeffJeff Ayres||3||0||2.2||1.000||.000||.750||0.7||0.3||0.0||0.0||1.7|
|Baynes, AronAron Baynes||3||0||2.1||1.000||.000||1.000||0.7||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.0|
|Belinelli, MarcoMarco Belinelli||5||0||11.8||.471||.444||.750||1.2||0.6||0.2||0.0||4.6|
|Bonner, MattMatt Bonner||4||0||6.7||1.000||.000||.750||0.8||1.3||0.3||0.0||1.3|
|Diaw, BorisBoris Diaw||5||3||35.2||.364||.333||.500||8.6||5.8||0.8||0.2||6.2|
|Duncan, TimTim Duncan||5||5||33.1||.569||.000||.679||10.0||2.0||0.4||0.8||15.4|
|Ginóbili, ManuManu Ginóbili||5||0||28.7||.500||.417||.875||3.0||4.4||1.0||0.2||14.4|
|Green, DannyDanny Green||5||5||21.1||.531||.450||.750||2.0||1.2||2.0||0.4||9.2|
|Leonard, KawhiKawhi Leonard||5||5||33.4||.612||.579||.783||6.4||2.0||1.6||1.2||17.8|
|Mills, PattyPatty Mills||5||0||15.2||.543||.565||.000||1.4||1.6||0.4||0.0||10.2|
|Joseph, CoryCory Joseph||3||0||2.5||.333||.000||.000||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.7|
|Parker, TonyTony Parker||5||5||35.2||.479||.417||.750||0.4||4.6||0.8||0.0||18.0|
|Splitter, TiagoTiago Splitter||5||2||16.8||.706||.000||.778||3.4||2.0||0.6||0.6||6.2|
- Miami Heat
|Allen, RayRay Allen||5||1||31.0||.415||.409||.857||3.0||1.8||1.6||0.2||9.8|
|Andersen, ChrisChris Andersen||5||0||17.9||.250||.000||.700||5.6||0.0||0.4||0.6||2.6|
|Battier, ShaneShane Battier||4||0||8.2||.000||.000||.000||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.0||0.0|
|Beasley, MichaelMichael Beasley||1||0||17.0||.571||.000||.333||3.0||1.0||0.0||0.0||9.0|
|Bosh, ChrisChris Bosh||5||5||36.3||.549||.385||.818||5.2||1.0||0.8||0.2||14.0|
|Chalmers, MarioMario Chalmers||5||4||23.1||.333||.143||.778||1.4||2.8||1.0||0.2||4.4|
|Cole, NorrisNorris Cole||5||0||16.7||.316||.143||.750||1.2||1.8||0.4||0.0||3.2|
|Douglas, ToneyToney Douglas||3||0||3.4||.250||.250||.500||1.0||0.7||0.0||0.0||1.3|
|Haslem, UdonisUdonis Haslem||4||0||5.6||.400||.000||.000||1.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||1.0|
|James, LeBronLeBron James||5||5||37.8||.571||.519||.793||7.8||4.0||2.0||0.4||28.2|
|Jones, JamesJames Jones||4||0||3.4||.571||.500||.000||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.8|
|Lewis, RashardRashard Lewis||5||5||22.9||.500||.455||.500||1.6||0.4||0.0||0.4||8.6|
|Oden, GregGreg Oden||2||0||1.5||.000||.000||.000||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade||5||5||34.5||.438||.333||.692||3.8||2.6||1.6||0.0||15.2|
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