It’s heat 1, Heat 0: LeBron cramps up in Game 1
Miami Heat forward LeBron James watches action against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) heads down court between plays against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) and forward LeBron James (6) watch from the sideline against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs beat the Heat. Miami couldn’t beat the heat.
And there was the story of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
With LeBron James unable to play in the final 3:59 because of cramps, and on a night where an air conditioning failure inside San Antonio’s arena had temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, the Heat simply withered in the final minutes. With their four-time MVP reduced to a spectator, Miami watched as San Antonio pulled away in the final minutes for a 110-95 win last night in the opener of the title series.
James scored the last of his 25 points on a layup that got Miami within two. That was the end of his night; he stood still on the baseline afterward, unable to move his left leg because of cramping.
His night was over, and soon, so was the game. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 13 the rest of the way, and took the series opener for the second straight finals.
The Heat were outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter.
Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and Ray Allen scored 16 for Miami. Rashard Lewis added 10 for the Heat.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Parker added 19 points and Manu Ginobili finished with 16 points and 11 assists for San Antonio, which improved to 10-1 at home in the playoffs.
James was affected throughout the second half, asking for breaks more than once, and some players placed ice bags on the backs of their necks in an effort to combat the temperature.
Duncan said the heat was a significant factor in the game.
“I don’t know what happened to LeBron, but I think all of us were feeling the heat,” Duncan said. “We were all dehydrated.”
It’s not the first time electricity has had a significant impact on a championship event in recent years. The Super Bowl in 2013 between Baltimore and San Francisco was marred by a power outage at the Superdome in New Orleans, interrupting play for 34 minutes.
Power was the culprit in Game 1 of the finals as well, arena officials said.
“An electrical failure for the power that runs the AC system in the AT&T Center has occurred,” Spurs Sports and Entertainment said in a statement distributed in the second half. “We are continuing to work on resolving the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Many fans removed the giveaway black T-shirts handed out before the game, obviously wanting to wear as few layers inside the steamy building as possible.
“They’re trying to smoke us out of here,” James told teammates during one stoppage in play.
With 1:14 left, he limped out, not long after throwing a towel to the court in frustration.