Spurs prove stronger than Heat in the heat

Fri Jun 6, 2014 4:08am EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - LeBron James may have been the only casualty but the sauna-like conditions in Game One of the NBA Finals caused a lot of pain, frustration and dehydration.

Even the fans were not spared from the steamy conditions when an electrical outage caused the air conditioning to fail at the AT&T Center on Thursday.

James, the MVP of the finals the last two seasons, was forced from the game in the fourth quarter with leg cramps with his Miami Heat trailing by two. With the world's best player on the sidelines, the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 110-95 victory.

"I could tell at mid-court seven minutes left in the first quarter that it was very, very warm," Rod Thorn, the NBA's president of basketball operations, told reporters.

"The people sitting around me said they thought it was warmer certainly than normal.

"Once the game starts, it's in the hands of the referees. I was sitting the second row midcourt - were such that the game shouldn't be continued, then they would have come over and said something to me.

"Never did, I never said anything to them regarding the fact that the game should be canceled."

Temperatures reached near 32 degrees Celsius courtside. While the players wilted, the 18,000 fans grabbed anything they could find to fan themselves.   Continued...

Jun 5, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) shoots the ball during the third quarter against the Miami Heat in game one of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports