Game 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals will take place on Thursday in Miami, as the San Antonio Spurs will try to take the series home with a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat.
The Spurs were able to win Game 3 on the road 111-92 thanks to an incredible 41-point first quarter. They now hold a 2-1 lead, but as we've seen before, no series lead is ever safe when LeBron James is on the other team. Anything could happen in the next few games, but as of right now, the Spurs have the edge.
Now that three games are in the books, let's take a look at the viewing information for Game 4, followed by a preview of a must-win game for the Heat.
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida
Date: Thursday, June 12
Time: 9 p.m. ET
San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat (Spurs Lead Series 2-1)
After failing to win the NBA title last year, the Spurs are motivated to get their revenge against the Heat. Thanks to some terrific play by a few Spurs and some not-so-terrific play by a couple of Heat players, the Spurs are two wins away from payback.
It's tough to predict anything given how this series has gone so far, but it's a pretty safe bet to assume that the Spurs won't have another half as good as the first half in Game 3. In the first 24 minutes, they shot 75.8 percent, which was an NBA Finals record, according to NBA Stats:
There's very little chance the Spurs repeat that half, but if they want to keep the edge in this series, they're going to need Kawhi Leonard to keep playing like he did on Tuesday night. He finished with a career-high 29 points after scoring just 18 in the first two games, and Gregg Popovich understands that he needs to be one of their best players on the court.
"He was just himself. ... That's how he's played all year long. He's got to be one of our better players on the court or we're not good enough," Popovich told Sam Amick of USA Today. "That's just the way it is. He's got that kind of talent where — you know, it's the NBA Finals. You can't just be mediocre out there if you want to win a game, and everybody's got to play well, and he did that."
Leonard's aggressiveness on defense was also a big help in the last game. LeBron James scored 14 points in the first quarter but scored just eight more for the rest of the game while turning the ball over seven times. While the team was pushing for a comeback in the second half, LeBron's presence actually hurt the team, as he finished the game with a plus-minus of minus-21.
It wasn't the best game from LeBron, but as we've seen, he rarely has two bad games in a row. Dwyane Wade had a better game on Tuesday night, but the key for the Heat to start pressing the Spurs will be for Mario Chalmers to finally turn things around.
So far, this has been a series that Chalmers would like to forget. He's scored just 10 total points with nine turnovers during the first three games, going just 3-of-12 from the field. According to Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick, Chalmers understands that he's been struggling:
The Game 3 loss was the first one at home this postseason for the Heat, and they don't want to make it two in a row on Thursday. If they're going to win, they'll need to keep the Spurs from heating up and hope that LeBron can limit the turnovers and take over when needed.
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