Spurs Over Heat, Flip Saunders Presser, Lynx Back in Action

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs beat the Heat in game one of the NBA Finals with a monster fourth quarter run.

The Spurs finished the game on a 31-9 run to defeat the Heat in game one of the Finals following a back and forth contest that was marred by the failure of the air conditioning in the AT&T Center.

The Spurs looked like the better team in the first half, generating their usual good looks despite a high number of turnovers, and getting great play from their bench, particularly Manu Ginobili, who made 3 three pointers early.  They took a five point lead into the break, despite good scoring from the Heat stars.

The third quarter belonged to the Heat, as the Spurs turned the ball over nine times in the quarter, and the Heat took advantage, getting several fast break baskets and Rashard Lewis made several big shots. The Heat were looking in control after taking a seven point lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs took over from there, shooting an incredible 14-16 in the fourth quarter, and making all six of their three point attempts in the period.  Danny Green, who didn't score in the first three quarters, made three threes and a dunk to propel the Spurs on their final run, which also included threes from Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker.

This was somewhat overshadowed by LeBron James, who was unable to play for significant stretches of the quarter, including during the decisive run by the Spurs, due to cramps in his legs. After leaving the game midway through the quarter after coming up hobbling after attempting to block Tim Duncan, James returned and scored on a drive to the basket, only to pull up lame again and go out for good.

Clearly the fact that the air conditioning was out at the AT&T Center was a factor in the game, and almost certainly in James' problems, and it's disappointing that the best player was unavailable during a crucial point in the game due to the conditions.

Nevertheless, the Spurs take a 1-0 lead in the series, and will look to make it two on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Wolves will hold a press conference today at 1:00 pm to introduce Flip Saunders as the new head coach. I made my feelings clear about this yesterday, but I hope he gets some tough questions about the search (or lack thereof) and the logic behind this.

There has been some talk that they were going to try to bring David Blatt over to be an assistant and presumably next head coach, but meanwhile Steve Kerr is trying to hire Blatt as his lead assistant.  If they want Blatt, which is smart, why not give him the head coaching job now? Why wait around and let him learn about the dysfunction? Let him start trying to establish a culture as head coach now.  It makes very little sense to me. Does the "coach in waiting" thing ever really work?

Rumor has it that both Sam Mitchell and Sidney Lowe will be a part of Saunders' staff.  Could anything be more Wolves? It's as if we haven't moved forward one inch in nine years.  And you know what? We haven't.

I still expect Love to get traded, as the general feeling is that the horse has already escaped the barn. Not a great day in Wolves land. Andrew Sharp sums up many of my feelings in this Grantland piece.

In happier news, the Lynx return to action tonight against the 2-6 Seattle Storm in Seattle. The game is at 9:00 pm Central and streaming on live access.  Maya Moore was named Western Conference Player of the Month for May, which is the third straight she has won, also collecting the award in August and September of last season. She's cooled off a bit since her ferocious start, but the Lynx are still rolling all comers.

Today in History

1664: New Amsterdam renamed New York
1683: Ashmolean Museum opens at Oxford as first University museum
1832: Student uprisings in Paris end as barricades are breached by troops. (Les Mis!)
1850: Levi Strauss produces first pair of blue jeans
1934: SEC established. Fat lot of good it does us. 
1944: D-Day. 150,000 allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy
1946: Basketball Association of America (Pre-cursor of the NBA) is formed in New York
1967: Israeli troops occupy Gaza
1968: Robert Kennedy dies of wounds a day after he is shot

Today's musical birthday is Carl Barat of the Libertines, born in 1978.


At least it's Friday. How's that?

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