Heat, Spurs set for pivotal Game 5SAN ANTONIO - Tony Parker’s hamstring, not Dwyane Wade’s knee, is the current chief injury concern.
Manu Ginobili, not Chris Bosh, is mired in the slump of the moment.
Things change quickly in the NBA Finals, and with everything suddenly seeming right with the Miami Heat, it’s up to the San Antonio Spurs to change them back on Sunday in Game 5.
“It is a must-win. We don’t want to go back down there down a game with two games remaining at their house,” Spurs star Tim Duncan said on Saturday.
The Heat evened the series with a 109-93 victory on Thursday, setting up what’s often the pivotal moment of the finals. Of the 27 times the series was tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner went on to win 20 of them.
“I think that’s what everyone would like, 2-2 in the finals for Game 5,” LeBron James said. “We are excited about the opportunity. We have another opportunity to win on someone else’s floor.”
It’s the same situation Miami was in two years ago, losing Game 5 in Dallas. But the Heat also had dropped the previous game, and James was struggling through a poor series by his standards.
The Heat won only twice in San Antonio in their first 24 seasons, and now can win in back-to-back games, which would give the defending champions two chances to close out the Spurs back home. Game 6 is on Tuesday.
The Spurs have never lost a Game 5 in the NBA Finals, including victories in 2003 and ‘05 when the series were tied 2-2. Sunday’s game could be the last time Duncan, Parker and Ginobili play at home in the finals, and they want to go out a winner.
“This game is huge,” Ginobili said. “We don’t want to go to Miami knowing that we have to win both.”