The 2014 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2013–14 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference Champions, the Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference Champions, San Antonio Spurs in six games. The Heat's LeBron James was named the Finals MVP.
This was a rematch of the previous year's finals, which Miami won in seven games, handing the Spurs the franchise's first ever Finals defeat. The Heat became the first team ever since the 2002 Lakers to win an NBA championship in three consecutive seasons.
The Spurs had home-court advantage since the team finished the regular season with a better record (62–20) than the Heat2 (60-22). For the first time since 1984, the Finals was played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format (Games 1 and 2 at home for the higher seeded team, Games 3 and 4 at home for the lower seeded team, Game 5 at the higher, Game 6 at the lower, and Game 7 at the higher).
Miami HeatThe Heat released Mike Miller and acquired Michael Beasley, who played with the Heat from 2008-2010. They also released Jarvis Varnando, and acquired Mikhail Petrov from CSKA Moscow. LeBron James was renamed the league's MVP. Dwyane Wade was rested regularly during the regular season to preserve his knees, but returned to his old form during the playoffs. The third All-Star of the Big Three for Miami, Chris Bosh, played well to end the Eastern Conference Finals. Michael Beasley and Greg Oden enjoyed more minutes ans injury-free season.
This was the Miami Heat's fourth straight appearance in the NBA Finals. They were seeking to become the first NBA team to three-peat since the 2002 Los Angeles Lakers. Heading into the postseason, the Heat had a 17-8 record in the last 25 games. The Heat collided with the Pacers for the top-seed in the Eastern Conference. Due to a late streamroll, and the Pacers going on a losing streak, the Heat captured a 59-23 regular season record the top seed in the Eastern Conference. In the first round, they eliminated the Atlanta Hawks and won 4–0. In the Conference Semifinals, they eliminated the Washington Wizards and won 4–1. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they again played the Indiana Pacers in a rematch of the previous year's Conference Finals. Miami won the series 4–2, eliminating the Indiana Pacers from the playoffs for the third straight year.
San Antonio SpursThe Spurs had a deep roster, with no player averaging 30 minutes during the regular season. Their offense relied on ball movement, making them "one of the most beautiful-to-watch teams in the NBA," according to USA Today.
This was the San Antonio Spurs's sixth appearance in the NBA Finals, and they headed to the postseason with the best record in the NBA and a franchise record 19-game winning streak, ending with a 22–4 run their last games. They concluded the season with a 62-20 league best record. In the first round, they faced their Texas rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, who surprised the Spurs by taking the series to seven games despite the Spurs sweeping the Mavericks in the regular season for 2 consecutive years. San Antonio won 4–3. In the Conference Semifinals, they eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers and won 4–1. In their third consecutive Conference Finals, they eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder and won the series 4–2, despite being swept by Oklahoma City in the regular season, and for the first time, they qualified for back-to-back Finals appearances.
Road to the Finals
|San Antonio Spurs (Western Conference Champion)||Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)|
1st seed in the West, best league record
|Regular season||1st seed in the East, 5th (tied) best league record|
|Defeated the 8th seeded Dallas Mavericks, 4–3||First round||Defeated the 8th-seeded Atlanta Hawks 4-0|
|Defeated the 5th seeded Portland Trail Blazers, 4–1||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the 5th-seeded Washing Wizards 4-1|
|Defeated the 2nd seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, 4–2||Conference Finals||Defeated the 2nd seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–2|
Regular season series
Conference Standings (top 5)
|San Antonio Spurs||62-20||1|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||59-23||2|
|Portland Trail Blazers||54-28||5|
The Miami Heat were able to successfully complete their three-peat bid, becoming the first team since the 2002 Lakers to perform such a feat. The Heat and Spurs traded three-point blows in each game, thanks to performances by Mike Miller and James Jones of the Heat and Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills and Danny Green of the Spurs. The Spurs were unable to rebound from their seven-game loss to the Heat in the 2013 Finals, losing the series in six games, for the franchise's second NBA Finals loss.
LeBron James was named the Finals MVP after leading the team in scoring in each of the final three games, averaging 28.8 points.
Chris Andersen of the Heat led all players in the series with 50 rebounds. He was followed by teammate Joel Anthony (43), who was inserted into the starting lineup beginning in Game 3. Chris Bosh led all players in the series in assists (29).
Game 1 (Spurs win 110-105)
Tim Duncan scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 110–105 win in Game 1. The game featured the AT&T Center's malfunctioning air-conditioning system, which caused temperatures in the arena to reach up to 90 °F (32 °C) in the second half. The conditions caused Miami's LeBron James to dehydrate and suffer cramps. After the failure was fixed, LeBron returned for a few short minutes, scoring 5 points but returned to the bench, and finished with 25 points. Chris Bosh scored 22 points and Ray Allen scored 19 points.
Game 2 (Heat win 98-96)
James rebounded from cramps in Game 1 with 35 points and 10 rebounds to lead Miami to a 98–96 win to tie the series. Bosh made the go-ahead three-point field goal on a pass from James with 1:18 remaining in the game, as the Heat won their 13th straight following a postseason loss. Temperatures in the AT&T Center were comfortable for the game after a broken circuit breaker was repaired following Game 1.
The Spurs held a two-point lead with 6:43 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Miami's Mario Chalmers elbowed Parker in the midsection for a flagrant foul. Parker and Duncan then combined to miss four straight free throws. James scored 33 in the final three quarters; he had 22 in the second half, when every shot he made was from 18 feet (5.5 m) or further. He also made a key strip of Parker late in the game.
Bosh finished with 18 points, and Wade and Rashard Lewis added 14 for Miami. Parker had 21 points and Duncan scored 18 points with 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won eight consecutive home games by at least 15 points. Parker passed Michael Jordan for eighth place on the NBA's all-time playoff assist list.
Game 3 (Spurs win 111-106)
The Spurs broke Miami's home-winning record, and beat them 111-106. The Spurs took a 2–1 lead in the series after a career-high 29 points from Leonard and a Finals-record 75.8% shooting effort from the team. The Heat answered back, and led in the third quarter but lost it. The Heat scored 10-straight points in the third quarter to bring the score to 79-81, the closest they would get to the Spurs the rest of the game.
San Antonio's insertion of Boris Diaw into the starting lineup created more ball movement, as the Spurs achieved the first 70-point first half in the Finals since the Los Angeles Lakers' 75 from Game 2 in 1987 against the Boston Celtics. The Heat, who had been 8–0 at home in the playoffs. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each scored 22 points apiece for Miami, Michael Beasley scored a career-high of 20, Ray Allen and Chris Bosh scored each 10 points.
Game 4 (Heat win 107-104)
The Heat rebounded from Game 3's loss to win 107-104. For much of the game, Heat trailed by four points, and their defense failed to handle San Antonio's crisp ball movement. However, with 0:10 to go, and the game tied at 104-104, Mike Miller banked a corner three-pointer at the buzzer to give Miami the victory, the series was now tied again at 2-2. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 28 points, LeBron with 26 points. Mike Miller scored 18 points, Ray Allen with 13 and Chris Bosh with only 10 points.
For the Spurs, Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds Parker scored 19 points, and Duncan adding 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 5 (Heat win 106-104)
The Heat took San Antonio's home-court advantage, and beat them 106-104. LeBron James led the Heat with a 45-point performance, accompanied by 22 from Wade and Bosh, 19 from James Jones who had a career-high night, and 10 apiece from Miker Miller and Joel Anthony.
For the entire game, the Heat trailed by as many as 11 points. Going int othe fourth-quarter, the Spurs lead the game 88-77. Thanks to a concentrated effort by the Heat, and James' explosive fourth quarter, the Heat again narrowly defeated the Spurs 106-104 on their home floor.
For the Spurs, Ginóbili had 19 points and four assists, and Patty Mills scored 17 points off the bench for the Spurs.
Game 6 (Heat win 114-103)
The series returned to Miami, where the Heat would finsh off the Spurs 114-103 where the Heat completed their bid for a three-peat. The Spurs suffered heavy foul trouble in the game. Mario Chalmers also had a superstar night, scoring 23 points for the Heat, accompanied by 21 from Ray Allen. LeBron James scored 24 points, and Wade led the Heat in scoring with 28 points.
LeBron James would the Finals MVP award.
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