Berry Tramel

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NBA Finals: Heat rarely blown out

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm •  Published: June 13, 2013
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade speaks with reporters before the NBA basketball team's practice on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in San Antonio. The Heat are scheduled to face the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of their NBA Finals basketball series on Thursday. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, David Santiago) ORG XMIT: FLMEH801
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade speaks with reporters before the NBA basketball team's practice on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in San Antonio. The Heat are scheduled to face the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of their NBA Finals basketball series on Thursday. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, David Santiago) ORG XMIT: FLMEH801

The Spurs blew out the Heat 113-77 Tuesday night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Third-most lopsided game in Finals history.

Here are the two biggest blowouts in Finals history: 1) Chicago 96-54 over Utah in Game 3 1998; 2) Boston 131-92 over the Lakers in Game 6 2008.

You don’t see many blowouts like that. First off, the scoring is down in these and most Finals. Hard to win by 36, or even half that, when most games are played in the 80s or 90s.

And you don’t see the Heat blown out like that. Miami now has played 61 playoff games in the LeBron era. The Heat is 41-20 in those games. This was only the second blowout loss.

And a blowout loss it was. The Spurs led 73-52 with 2:56 left in the third quarter, 91-63 with 91/2 minutes left in the game and 102-71 with six minutes left.

Only once in the last three postseasons had Miami suffered a true blowout defeat.

In the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals, Game 3, the Heat lost to Indiana 94-75. It wasn’t a wire-to-wire blowout – Miami was tied 43-43 at halftime and trailed just 76-65 with 71/2 minutes left, still within striking distance, but Indiana pulled away. I’d define a blowout as any game that’s decided with six minutes left. And that one was.

But that’s only two blowout defeats in 61 playoff games. The other hefty Miami losses just got away at the end. Indiana 2013 Game 6, Miami lost 91-77, but it was a four-point difference with 51/2 minutes left. Against the Thunder in Game 1 of the 2012 Finals, OKC won 105-94, but it was a five-point game with 1:20 left. In 2012 of the East Finals against Boston, Miami trailed Game 3 85-63 after three quarters but cut the deficit to 91-82 with 5:40 left and 95-87 with three minutes left, before losing 101-91. In Game 1 of the 2011 East Finals against Chicago, Miami lost 103-82, but it was tied 48-48 at halftime, and the Heat trailed just 69-63 in the final 90 seconds of the third quarter and 92-80 with five minutes left. And in the 2011 East semifinals, Boston beat Miami 97-81 in Game 3, but Miami led 46-44 at halftime, and it was 85-72 with five minutes left, not completely over.

The evidence is clear. Even when Miami is on the ropes, the Heat comes back.

Meanwhile, the Spurs have played 38 playoff games the last three postseasons and have suffered three blowout losses – 104-86 to Memphis in Game 4 of 2011’s first round, 102-82 to the Thunder in Game 3 of 2012’s West Finals and 103-84 to Miami in Game 2 of these very NBA Finals.

For the record, the Thunder has played 48 playoff games the last three years and has suffered just one blowout loss – 121-106 to Miami in Game 5 of the 2012 Finals.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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