After witnessing the Game 2 loss, San Antonio Spurs fans reacted with a request for more Kawhi Leonard. He granted their wishes and then some with his career-high 29 points last night.
Leonard was not the only one who made adjustments for Game 3. Coach Gregg Popovich had some of his own, as expected. The starting line-up included Boris Diaw instead of Tiago Splitter. Could this have helped the Spurs make the Finals record of scoring 75.8 percent of their shots in the first half? Here is what Spurs fans had to say about the line-up’s effect on the game,
“I think starting Diaw really helped spread the floor as well as helped keep the shooters honest.” – @zak9attack
“They played a big role because they could guard Miami’s stretch 4’s.” – @AmazingCraniel
“Diaw’s ability to guard the perimeter, space the floor, and be a play maker is huge. Kawhi being aggressive on offense and D is too.” – @josh_the_truth
Aforementioned, the Spurs dominated the first half, lead by Leonard who at one point had more points than the Heat team as a whole. The Heat’s flame did not seem to be burning “white hot,” but instead seemed to be flickering in the whirlwind that was the Spurs as they trailed by 21 points at the half.
The Heat attempted to pull themselves back into the game and were nearly successful as they cut the Spurs’ double-digit lead to a seven point one. A collective queasiness fell over the Spurs fandom as the scoreboard read 81 -74, and the Heat seemed to be inching closer.
Thankfully, the Spurs were able to pull away and regain a more comfortable lead, closing out the game, 111 – 92. “Sugar K Leonard’s” dominating presence sure did sweeten the victory for fans. They let Project Spurs know just how pleased they were with the young x-factor’s display of fearlessness and confidence,
“More than pleased, we needed this Kawhi to show up, the bonus was Danny’s play. Great defense from both.” – @avelarde2
“kawhietly great” (fittingly followed by the hand emoji.) – koroisthebest
“The future is bright tonight for San Antonio. Very pleased with how he attacked and didn’t hesitate.” – @drakecaudill
“Yes very pleased! The team definitely connected well and Kawhi played aggressive.” -@cilla_aguirre
“We needed much more from Kawhi this series…and tonight? Well, he more than just delivered. Has he returned? Indubitably.” – @TheCrunchySopa
“Kawhi just showed the world tonight that when the team is in sync and he’s aggressive the #Spurs are unstoppable #noACrequired” – @_TheSpursFan_
With Kawhi awakened and helping his hungry teammates, the Spurs do in fact seem to be unstoppable. The Heat have one more chance to win in Miami before heading back to Spurs territory. How will they react? Is the pressure on? Spurs fans reacted one more time for the night,
“The Heat will respond roaring trying to tie the series. I’m not settling for less, but I’m very happy we got the split in Miami.” – @need4speeDeLara
“I believe they will replace Mario at PG with Wade ’cause Chalmers belongs on a milk carton. I say the pressure is on MIA, ya don’t wanna be down 3-1 comin’ to SA” – @zak9attack
“Absolutely, the pressure is on the Heat now. I expect them to come with more desperation, but Spurs are smart and will be ready.” – @youdontknowbang
The Spurs have once again beat the Heat by a considerable margin. This time, in a hostile arena cooled by a fully functioning air conditioning system, against a fully functioning LeBron James – proving excuses and conspiracy theories invalid.