Spurs Set Finals Records for FG Percentage in 1st Quarter and 1st Half of Game 3

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Spurs Set Finals Records for FG Percentage in 1st Quarter and 1st Half of Game 3
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Much of the conversation following the Miami Heat’s 98-96 Game 2 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday concerned whether LeBron James and company had finally “figured out” their foes.

Not so much, said the Spurs, who authored the most incendiary first-half performance in Finals history Tuesday night.

It started with a blistering opening frame:

By the midway point of the second quarter, the only two Spurs who had missed a field goal were—ironically enough—the team’s two best: Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Kawhi Leonard, meanwhile, was busy authoring the best quarter of his short career:

After tallying just 18 points combined over the first two tilts, Leonard’s breakout performance couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for San Antonio, which looked to regain home-court advantage.

Unless you witnessed it live, it’s difficult to describe how palpably urgent San Antonio’s attack really was. In fact, in terms of sheer efficiency, you have to go all the way back to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls to find a statistical first-quarter equal:

As far as first-halves go, however, no team—not Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers, not Larry Bird's Boston Celtics, not MJ's Bulls—has ever done it better:

Miami, meanwhile, appeared somewhat shell-shocked by the Spurs’ basketball blitzkrieg, and never fully recovered.

After the game, even the typically stoic Gregg Popovich couldn't help but be in awe of his team's performance:

Lest you believe this a bellwether, however, these two teams have a history of trading Finals haymakers. Dating back to last year’s seven-game classic, five of the teams’ nine showdowns have been decided by 10 points or more.

Eventual outcome aside, let's hope San Antonio's lights-out performance better helps us appreciate just how devastatingly divine its brand of basketball really was.

In the mean time, please enjoy this compilation video of all the Spurs' first-half makes. Please have a pot of coffee ready; you're going to be here awhile.

 

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