In a shocking turn of events, the reigning NBA champions—the Miami Heat—and a San Antonio Spurs team without Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, gave us one of the most exciting games of the 2012-13 season thus far.
It wasn't pretty at times for the Heat, but they got the job done against a Spurs team that they, in all honesty, should've blown out. The Heat overcame a resilient opponent, 105-100, and they did so on the shoulders of LeBron James.
LeBron absolutely took over in the fourth quarter, leading the Heat on a 16-6 run to end the game. That run was capped off by LeBron finding a wide-open Ray Allen beyond-the-arc with 0:22 left in regulation to give the Heat the lead for good.
The shorthanded Spurs could've just laid over and let the Heat demolish them without their star players, but instead, they gave the Heat all they could handle.
We learned that the Spurs are clearly more than seven or eight players deep. It is clear that the Spurs have one of the deepest teams in the entire NBA.
If it wasn't for LeBron and his 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and his decision to take over the game with four minutes remaining, the Heat would've lost this one.
The Heat certainly have a lot of work to do, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Giving up 100 points to a team made up of second-unit players isn't impressive to say the least. But you know what they say about champions—they find ways to win. And that's what the Heat did.
Ahead is a breakdown and grade of every player's performance.