Dominant Spurs not ready to size championship rings

Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:35pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - Having been down that agonizing road a year ago, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan understands that until the two-time defending champion Miami Heat are eliminated from the NBA Finals they still have a pulse.

"We know the caliber team they are, and we have a lot of respect for what they're able to do," said Duncan, the Spurs' 38-year-old spiritual leader and 14-time All-Star.

"They're able to throw it into another gear, and they're going to do just that. They don't want this to be done. They have already won on our homecourt, so they feel they can do it again.

"We don't want to give them any life."

The Heat may still be alive in the series but they're on life support, facing a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven NBA Finals heading into Sunday's Game Five in San Antonio.

But Miami has a knack for pulling off the impossible. It was in last year's finals that the Heat, facing elimination, erased a five-point deficit in the final 28 seconds of regulation in Game Six and beat the Spurs 103-100 in overtime.

The Heat won Game Seven to claim their second straight crown and leave the Spurs wondering what might have been.

Miami's LeBron James, who scored 28 points in Thursday's 107-86 drubbing by the Spurs, said the Heat cannot be thinking about becoming the first team to recover from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.   Continued...

Miami Heat's Chris Bosh (L) passes past San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan during the first quarter in Game 2 of their NBA Finals basketball series in San Antonio, Texas, June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Stone