Heat win Finals rematch

By Associated Press
Published On: Jan 26 2014 03:47:54 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 26 2014 08:42:38 PM EST
Heat Spurs

Ron Elkman

MIAMI -

Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9 for 10 shooting, LeBron James added 18 points and the Miami Heat rolled past the San Antonio Spurs 113-101 on Sunday in an NBA Finals rematch from last season.

Mario Chalmers scored 16 points for Miami, which used Dwyane Wade as a reserve for the first time since Jan. 6, 2008. Wade — an All-Star starter again this season — had not played in any of Miami's most recent four games while dealing with ongoing knee rehabilitation, and finished with eight points and five assists in 24 minutes.

PHOTOS: Heat win Finals rematch

Michael Beasley scored 12, Norris Cole scored 11 and Ray Allen added 10 for Miami. Bosh has made 17 of his last 18 shots from the floor.

Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 23 points. Boris Diaw added 15, Marco Belinelli scored 12 and Tony Parker finished with 11 for the Spurs, who went on a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter and were still down by 13 when the spurt was over.

Chalmers — the last starter from either side who was in the game — made a 3-pointer midway through the fourth to give Miami a 106-80 lead. As the building slowly emptied, the Spurs slowly chipped away, with Nando De Colo getting six points and an assist during the run that was nowhere near enough to make any real difference.

Roger Mason Jr. snapped the scoreless drought for Miami, making a 3-pointer from nearly the same spot that Allen made his infamous game-tying one that saved the Heat with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of last season's Finals, when the Spurs were one stop away from their fifth championship. Miami won that one in overtime, then prevailed in Game 7 for its second straight crown.

Sunday's game was the first official meeting between the teams since that finale. San Antonio visited Miami in the preseason, a night where the Finals rematch was the only thing really worth talking about, but at least the Spurs didn't have to see Miami's third championship banner hanging from the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena that night.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged that it's still difficult to think about. Coaches, he said, would understand.

"All the good stuff fades away and you remember the stuff that passed you by," Popovich said. "That's the way we think, sad as it is."

Unlike those Finals thrillers, this one wasn't a down-to-the-wire affair.

With a minute to go in the first half, Miami's lead was 53-50. It was 91-71 by the start of the fourth, a 38-21 blitz by the Heat over a span of 13 minutes eliminating any semblance of drama.

The third quarter was all Miami, and eliminated all doubt. Bosh was 4 for 4 from the field, on the way to a 12-point quarter. Miami outrebounded San Antonio 14-3 in the quarter, with James and Cole each grabbing one more rebound in that period than the entire Spurs roster.

And by the time the fourth started, the blowout was well underway.

Before Sunday, the Spurs faced a road deficit bigger than 15 points only once this season. A 3-pointer by Chalmers took care of that, making it 81-65 Miami late in the third. And the margin eventually grew to 29, that all coming after the Spurs subbed Duncan and Parker out and gave them the rest of the day off in the latter portions of the third.

NOTES: For as close as last season's Finals were at times, it might be surprising to learn that these teams tend to play something other than regular-season classics. Only two of the teams' last eight non-Finals meetings were decided by less than 12 points. ... The Heat have played their last 98:33 without facing a deficit. ... Actor John Malkovich was in the sold-out, largely late-arriving crowd for the 1 p.m. start. ... Popovich remained tied with Red Auerbach on the all-time NBA coaching wins list, with 938.

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PHOTOS: Heat win Finals rematch

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