Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — From their low moment in the NBA Finals, back to the top of the league.
The San Antonio Spurs turned the rematch with the Miami Heat into no match at all.
The Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending the Heat’s two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games.
A year after their heartbreaking seven-game defeat, their only loss in six finals appearances, the Spurs won four routs to deny Miami’s quest for a third straight championship.
Kawhi Leonard, named the finals MVP, had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs.
The Spurs added this title to the ones they claimed in 1999, 2003, ’05 and ’07.
San Antonio rebounded from an early 16-point deficit by outscoring the Heat 37-13 from the start of the second quarter to midway in the third.
The celebration the Heat prevented last season was on by the early second half Sunday, when the Spurs finished digging their way out and turned in another huge lead.
LeBron James had 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, which lost their spot atop the NBA to the team that’s sat there so many times before.
The Spurs won four titles in nine years but hadn’t done so since 2007, making Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time” an appropriate song choice after the final buzzer.
The Spurs’ Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich have been front and center for all five of the team’s titles; it was the fourth for Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who, with Duncan, are once again the reigning Big Three in the NBA.