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Spurs turn up Heat by hitting 19 of first 21 shots to take 2-1 series lead in NBA Finals

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs collides

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs collides with Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat during Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 10, 2014 in Miami. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MIAMI - The San Antonio Spurs started out as hot as it was in their building last week when the air conditioner was on the fritz, and LeBron James and Miami had trouble withstanding that heat.

The Spurs sizzled and enjoyed a record-setting shooting performance in their 111-92 blowout of the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.

San Antonio reclaimed home-court advantage by snapping the two-time champion Heat's 11-game playoff winning streak at American Airlines Arena, and took a 2-1 lead in the series. Game 4 is here Thursday night.

"They were very aggressive and we didn't match that," James said. "They came in with a desperation that we didn't match."

The Spurs hit 19 of their first 21 shots and set an NBA Finals mark for field-goal percentage in a half (.758, 25-for-33) and led 71-50 at the half.

The start was similar to the way the Spurs shot in the fourth quarter of their Game 1 win, when cramping led to James being a spectator down the stretch.

"They jumped on us and they were the aggressor and they had us on our heels from the beginning," James said. "This is something at this point of the season shouldn't happen."

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard shot 10-for-13 and scored a game-high 29 points. He matched his total from the first two games by scoring 18 in the first half, and played strong defense on James throughout the night.

North Babylon's Danny Green made his first six shots and finished 7-for-8 with 15 points and five steals. Tim Duncan added 14 points.

James and Dwyane Wade each had 22 for Miami, which hadn't lost at home since dropping Game 1 of last year's NBA Finals to the Spurs. James scored just eight points after the first quarter and committed seven turnovers.

The Spurs, who shot 59.4 percent, led by as many as 25 points in the first half. But the Heat climbed back to within seven with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

But San Antonio regained its composure in the fourth quarter and pulled away.

After a Ray Allen three-pointer made it 90-80, Leonard had a driving dunk, which started a 12-4 run. Manu Ginobili's fast-break slam gave the Spurs a 102-84 lead with 5:11 to go.

"We were very inspired early in the game," Ginobili said. "In the third quarter, it got rough. It got complicated. But we kept playing, we kept moving the ball and we started making shots."

In the first quarter, the Spurs shot 13-for-15, including 4-for-4 on three-pointers, scored 41 points and led by 15.

The Spurs set a Finals record for shooting percentage in a quarter (.867) and were the first team to surpass 40 points in a first quarter in 47 years.

The Spurs then hit their first six shots of the second quarter and built a 55-30 cushion.

Miami made seven of its next eight shots and drew within 62-48 after an Allen three-pointer with 2:41 left. But the Spurs extended it to 71-50 at the half. The 71 points were the most the Heat gave up in a half in any playoff game.

"I don't think we'll shoot 76 percent in a half ever again," Gregg Popovich said. "That's crazy."

Wade led the Heat back in the third, scoring 11. A Norris Cole reverse layup cut it to 81-74 with 1:59 left. The Spurs scored only 15 in the third but still led 86-75 heading to the fourth.

"They still had a good rhythm going," Wade said. "They just kept us at bay and they put us away."


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