Spurs handle Heat after LeBron James can’t handle heat in NBA Finals Game 1

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SAN ANTONIOLeBron James was resting on a training table in the back of the Miami Heat locker room an hour after Game 1 of the NBA Finals ended, feeling drained, pained and frustrated.

The Heat star wasn’t stopped by San Antonio.


PHOTOS: Spurs lead Heat 54-49 at halftime of Game 1


Instead, he was stopped by the San Antonio heat.

On a night where air conditioning failed and the AT&T Center turned into a steamy mess, James missed the final four minutes because of cramps and the San Antonio Spurs took full advantage.

The Spurs closed the game on a 16-3 run as the four-time NBA MVP could only watch helplessly, beating the two-time defending champion Heat 110-95 on Thursday night in a rather bizarre opener to the title series.

“After I came out of the game, they kind of took off,” James said. “And it was frustrating sitting out and not being able to help our team.”

The heat, not the Heat and not even the Spurs, was the story.

A power outage was blamed for the lack of cooling inside the arena, and ABC sideline reporter Doris Burke said during the network’s coverage that the temperature near the court in the third quarter was 88 degrees.

Thousands of fans shed the black souvenir T-shirts that were left on their seats before the game, understandable since no one needed to wear layers on this night.

Game 2 isn’t until Sunday. The NBA expects the arena’s issues to be repaired by then, and neither team was scheduled to practice there Friday or Saturday anyway.

“I’m sure that both teams are going to be happy that we have a couple of days before the next game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “And hopefully, we can pay our bills.”

Popovich’s deadpan comedy probably got as much notice as the effort by his team, which topped Miami in Game 1 of the finals for the second straight year.

Tim Duncan scored 21 points on 9 for 10 shooting — the best percentage of his 230-game postseason career — for the Spurs, who got 19 points from Tony Parker and 16 from Manu Ginobili.

Parker felt right at home, meaning his literal home.

“Felt like I was playing in the European Championship,” Parker said. “We never have AC in Europe, so it didn’t bother me at all.”

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