Friday, December 12, 2014

Spurs beat Heat 104-87 in Game 5 to win NBA title

Spurs forward Tim Duncan gets some skin from guard Manu Ginobili (right). San Antonio weathered a cold start and came backto beat the Heat. Duncan had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan gets some skin from guard Manu Ginobili (right). San Antonio weathered a cold start and came backto beat the Heat. Duncan had 14 points and eight rebounds. DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP
Spurs forward Tim Duncan gets some skin from guard Manu Ginobili (right). San Antonio weathered a cold start and came backto beat the Heat. Duncan had 14 points and eight rebounds. Gallery: Spurs beat Heat 104-87 in Game 5 to win NBA title
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - From their low moment in the NBA Finals, back to the top of the league.

The San Antonio Spurs turned the rematch with the Miami Heat into no match at all.

The Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending the Heat's two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games.

A year after their heartbreaking seven-game defeat, their only loss in six Finals appearances, the Spurs won four routs to deny Miami's quest for a third consecutive championship.

More coverage
 
WATCH: Sixers-Hawks highlights
 
Box score: Hawks 95, Sixers 79
 
Brown feels a debt to 76ers fans
 
VOTE: Will the Sixers lose more than 73 games?
 
Sixers 2014-15 regular season schedule
 
Buy 76ers jerseys, memorabilia, and other gear
 
Latest Sixers videos
 
Forum: When will the 76ers be a contender?
"Hard to believe, isn't it? Manu Ginobili said. "We played at a really high level."

Kawhi Leonard, named the Finals MVP, had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs. San Antonio added this title to those the Spurs won in 1999, 2003, '05, and '07. They nearly had another last year, but couldn't hold off the Heat and lost in seven games.

San Antonio rebounded from an early 16-point deficit by outscoring the Heat, 37-13, from the start of the second quarter to midway through the third.

LeBron James had 17 first-quarter points to help the Heat get off to a fast start. But it wasn't enough. He finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

The Spurs won four titles in nine years, but hadn't been back on top since 2007, making Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" an appropriate song choice after the final buzzer.

Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich have been here for all of them, and it was the fourth for Tony Parker and Ginobili, who with Duncan once again make up the reigning Big Three in the NBA.

"Just a great team, and we do it together," Parker said.

Chris Bosh finished with 13 points and Dwyane Wade just 11 on 4-of-12 shooting for the Heat.

The painful conclusion to last year served as the fuel for this one, powering the Spurs to a 62-win season that topped the NBA and led to a rematch with Miami, the NBA's first in the Finals since Chicago beat Utah in 1997-98.

Round 2 went to the Spurs, but both teams will have challenges to navigate for a rubber match.

San Antonio will face questions - as it has for years - about the age of its core, and whether Duncan, Ginobili, and Popovich want to stick around. The Heat will brace for the potential free agency of James, Wade, and Bosh, and will need younger, fresher pieces around the three all-stars if they all stay.

Brian Mahoney Associated Press
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected