Notebook: Heat 105, Spurs 100

Posted Nov 30, 2012 12:26 AM

By Zachary Paul, for

THE FACTS: The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 105-100 Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Heat forward LeBron James led all scorers with 23 points, but it was Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds remaining that proved to be the difference. Allen received a pass from James at the wing to put the Heat ahead 100-98.

Miami trailed 98-93 before making its move late in the fourth quarter. The game was much closer than many expected because the Spurs were playing without stars Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and starter Danny Green. Coach Gregg Popovich sent the players home Thursday morning after a game the previous night in Orlando.

Popovich said the decision was based on the team playing four games in five nights. The Spurs started Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter, Nando De Colo and Patty Mills.

Splitter led the Spurs with 18 points and nine rebounds. Guard Dwyane Wade had 19 points for the Heat while center Chris Bosh added 18 and 12 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "We're not going to make any excuses for tonight. You deal with a lot of different things during the course of the NBA season. Our guys were looking forward to this game." -- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

THE STAT: James and Wade combined to shoot 16 of 33 from the field, scoring 42 points.

TURNING POINT: Trailing 98-93, the Heat regained control with a 7-0 run and scored 20 of the game's final 28 points.

QUOTABLE II: "This was a tough loss. I couldn't be more proud of the way the guys played. We had an opportunity to win a basketball game. Winning games in the NBA is tough. I thought we played really well but not quite good enough." -- Popovich.

HOT: James came away with yet another near triple-double, finishing with nine rebounds and seven assists. He shot 9 of 16 from the field, but it was his late-game passing that was most important for the Heat.

NOT: Mills' shooting made the Spurs realize they were playing without their starting point guard. Mills shot just 3 of 11 from the field, including an ill-advised 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

GOOD MOVE: Finding Allen in the closing seconds seems to be the best option for the Heat. Trailing by two, James found him on the wing for the open 3-pointer. It was his third winning shot in the late stages this season.

BAD MOVE: The Spurs trailed 103-100 after Allen made two free throws, but Popovich opted not to call a time. With no plan, they got a bad 3-point shot by Gary Neal to end their chances of pulling off the unlikely victory.

NOTABLE: NBA commissioner David Stern issued a statement regarding Popovich's decisions to rest most of his starters. It read, "I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming." ... The Heat were without forward Shane Battier (knee) ... Miami guard Allen played despite suffering from back stiffness during pre-game ... Heat swingman Mike Miller recorded his 500th career steal.

UP NEXT: For the Heat: Saturday vs. Nets, Tuesday @ Wizards, Thursday vs. Knicks. For the Spurs: Saturday vs. Grizzlies, Wednesday vs. Bucks, Friday vs. Rockets.