Heat, Spurs tied at 22 after 1st quarter

Associated Press
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San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) moves the ball against Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem (40) during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Sunday, June 9, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — Danny Green scored nine points early on three 3-pointers and the San Antonio Spurs finished the first quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals tied 22-22 with the Miami Heat on Sunday night.

Kawhi Leonard grabbed six rebounds for the Spurs, who lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Four of Leonard's rebounds came on the offensive end to help the Spurs overcome 38 percent shooting.

Chris Bosh had six points and two steals for the Heat. LeBron James was off to a quiet start with two points on 1-for-4 shooting.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.

Green hit his first three 3-pointers of the night and Duncan's 17-foot jumper gave the Spurs an 11-6 lead. But the Heat jumped back into it with some stellar halfcourt defense and Bosh's putback of a miss by James gave the Heat an 18-15 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first period.

James had a triple-double in Game 1 with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. But his scoring total was the lowest in these playoffs, and again there was chatter that the four-time MVP somehow needed to do more. James brushed those suggestions off, saying it was important to get guys like Bosh and Dwyane Wade going early to get them into the game.

Wade, who has been bothered by a balky knee all postseason, appeared to be walking gingerly after a collision with Gary Neal while chasing down a loose ball late in the period.

James missed his first three shots and didn't get on the board until a baseline jumper with 14.5 seconds to go in the first.

Even though it's only Game 2, there was so much on the line for the star-studded Heat. An incredible 27-game winning streak fueled a 66-win season, with many handing James and Co. their second straight title before the playoffs even started.

Then the Indiana Pacers took them to seven games in a rugged Eastern Conference finals series, and the rested Spurs got a miraculous shot from Tony Parker with 5.2 seconds to go to help them take Game 1. In the history of the NBA Finals, only three of 31 teams had come back to win the championship after falling behind 0-2. None of those teams did it after losing the first two games at home, and the series is headed back to the River Walk for three straight games this week.

Leading up to the game, the Heat tried to take solace in the fact that they have come back from a 1-0 deficit so many times before. They trailed Chicago in last year's playoffs, but rebounded to win 4-1. They did the same to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals and again to the Bulls in this year's Eastern Conference semifinals. But there was a big difference in all three of those series.

"We didn't lose any games at home," Bosh said. "Dropping one on your home floor in the opening is a tough pill to swallow, but it's our reality."

They walked into an arena on Sunday night with white t-shirts draped over every seat that read "Larry loves Miami," a reference to the Lawrence O'Brien championship trophy. But there was no question that this 1-0 hole may have been their biggest yet since James arrived on South Beach three years ago.

The Spurs are deep, experienced and with Parker slicing and dicing on the pick-and-roll, well-equipped to exploit the very few weaknesses the Heat have on the defensive end. The Spurs tied an NBA Finals record with just four turnovers — none in the second half — to win Game 1.

Parker said that kind of efficiency was too much to expect in Game 2, and San Antonio turned the ball over four times in the first six minutes of Game 2.