Spurs grab lead after 1st quarter in NBA Finals

Associated Press
Miami Heat's Chris Bosh and San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan compete for the ball at tip off of Game 3 in their NBA Finals basketball series, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Miami Heat's Chris Bosh and San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan compete for the ball at tip off of Game 3 in …

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tim Duncan had six points and two rebounds to help the San Antonio Spurs take a 24-20 lead over the Miami Heat after one quarter in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.

Kawhi Leonard had five points and three rebounds and the Spurs shot 61 percent from the field in the first finals game in San Antonio since 2007.

Dwyane Wade got off to another quick start for the Heat, scoring eight points with two assists. LeBron James once again got off to a quiet start with two points to go with three assists and two boards.

Game 4 is Thursday in San Antonio.

The Spurs stormed out to an early 11-4 lead, receiving an expected jolt of energy after Manu Ginobili, Duncan and Tony Parker combined to go 10 for 33 from the field in Game 2's blowout loss.

Ginobili threw down a two-handed dunk to get the crowd going and give the Spurs a 17-12 lead and Parker had four assists in the first quarter.

Miami came right back, using a 3-pointer from Mike Miller and hot shooting from Wade, who made four of his five shots.

It was the first time since 2007 that a finals game was played in San Antonio, a proud military city that had grown accustomed to hosting the NBA's biggest event in the middle of the last decade. The Spurs won three titles in five seasons during that span, and the core of Parker, Duncan and Ginobili were back for one more this time around.

They've waited a long time to see another one — Parker said it felt like "forever" to him — and let their voices be heard early in Game 3.

The crowd chanted "Go Spurs Go!" as the lights dimmed before the game, a familiar refrain that could be seen all across town this week — on the backs of taxi cabs, hanging from banners on buildings and even being chanted by kids appearing on a local morning show.

The uncommon stability in the organization has struck a cord with the fans here, who have watched their core grow up and grow old right in front of their eyes. They watched from afar as their team squeaked out Game 1 in Miami thanks in large part to an incredible shot by Parker in the closing moments.

James and the Heat responded emphatically in Game 2, ripping off a 30-5 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to blow the Spurs out and snatch all the momentum.

If any team was prepared to enter the hostile AT&T Center and get a victory, it was the Heat. They've won on the road in every series of the playoffs and have been the target of intense scrutiny ever since James, Wade and Bosh united three years ago to chase championships.

They already have one championship in hand and a victory in Game 3 would go a long way toward a second. Of the last 12 NBA Finals to split the first two games, 11 of the Game 3 winners have gone on to capture the trophy.

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