Tony Parker banked in a 16-footer with 5.2 seconds left for the last of his 21 points and the San Antonio Spurs stunned the Miami Heat 92-88 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Tim Duncan had 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, and Manu Ginobili scored 13 points for the Spurs, who are in the finals for the first time since 2007 and are pursuing their fifth championship.
LeBron James had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists for his 10th career playoff triple-double and Dwyane Wade scored 17 for the defending champion Heat. But James made just 7 of 16 shots, missing his last shot in the final 5 seconds, and managed his lowest scoring output of the playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard deserves most of the credit for that, with the 6-foot-7 wing player hounding James on the perimeter all night long and not backing down.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Miami.
These Spurs were supposed to be rusty after a nine-day layoff and Duncan showed some signs of that early with an 0-for-5 start. But once those 37-year-old bones got going, the Spurs showed that this series will be anything but a coronation for King James.
The Spurs trailed for most of the first three quarters, but Duncan kept the Heat from running away by controlling the paint and moving the ball. Parker's two free throws gave San Antonio a 77-76 lead in the fourth quarter and Duncan's putback pushed the lead to 83-79 with 5:30 to go.
James scored on two straight Miami possessions and Ray Allen hit three free throws to make it 88-86 Spurs with 1:28 to go.
Duncan hit two free throws and Chris Bosh missed an open 3-pointer on the other end and Parker finished off the Heat with a shot clock-beating, leaner after falling to his knees, just in front of James that gave the Spurs their final margin of victory.
Leonard had 10 points and 10 rebounds in a remarkable NBA Finals debut.