For the Miami Heat, there was symmetry in the turnabout.
Lose by 30 in San Antonio, win by 30 in Miami.
Chris Bosh scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 29 and the Miami Heat avenged their worst loss of the season by rolling past the NBA-leading Spurs 110-80 on Monday night.
”It’s huge for us, really, just getting even with this team,” Bosh said. ”They beat us pretty good and I’m happy that we were able to respond by playing a complete game tonight. But at the same time, it is just one game.”
LeBron James finished with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Heat, who have won three straight and moved within two games of Eastern Conference front-runners Boston and Chicago.
Miami lost 125-95 in San Antonio on March 4, the midpoint of a five-game slide that now seems all but forgotten after wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and now the Spurs.
”Sometimes when you suffer the results that we were and you have this extreme noise from outside, that can be a distraction only if you let it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”But in terms of the guys’ confidence, it never really wavered. This is a very confident group. But the consistency that we’ve had the last three games is something we can build on.”
It was the Spurs’ biggest regular-season loss since April 7, 2005, a 104-68 defeat in Dallas.
Tony Parker scored 18 points and Tim Duncan added 14 for the Spurs, who had won 15 of their last 18 against Miami. Before Monday, San Antonio’s worst loss of the season had been a 96-72 defeat in New Orleans.
And this one was decisive in more than the scoring column: Miami outrebounded the Spurs 47-33 and shot 54 percent to San Antonio’s 38.
”We made a lot of shots in San Antonio and they made a lot of shots here,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team endured its third-lowest scoring total and fifth-worst shooting effort of the season. ”What goes around comes around.”
According to STATS LLC, it’s just the second time in NBA history that a two-game series had both clubs winning once by 30 or more. The other occurrence came last season, when Dallas beat New York by 50 at Madison Square Garden, then lost at home to the Knicks by 34 nearly two months later.
Add this to San Antonio’s 123-101 loss in Orlando on Dec. 23, and the Spurs’ two trips to the Sunshine State this season were losses by a combined 52 points.
Mario Chalmers scored 11 for Miami. Manu Ginobili finished with 12 and Antonio McDyess scored 10 for the Spurs.
”They needed the game more than us,” Ginobili said. ”They were more upset than us and they are a great team. We are not playing against a second-division team in Asia. We are talking about the Heat.”
When the teams met a week and a half ago, it was over after one quarter. San Antonio ran out to a 36-12 lead, making eight 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, on the way to a franchise-record 17 connections from beyond the arc.
Funny how things even out: In Miami, the Spurs could get very little from outside the paint to fall. They finished 6 for 22 on 3’s.
San Antonio shot just 6 for 25 from the perimeter in the first half, 1 for 9 in the second quarter, and the Heat held the Spurs to their fourth-lowest output in the first 24 minutes of a game this season. The Heat lead was 49-39 at the break, with Bosh and Wade combining for 31 points and 12 rebounds along the way.
Meanwhile, take away Duncan and McDyess – a combined 9 for 13 in the half – and the Spurs were downright abysmal offensively. Combined, their teammates shot 9 for 33 in the opening two quarters.
”They definitely had a lot of energy,” Parker said of the Heat. ”But overall, they just played better than us.”
The Spurs got some things going in the third, particularly Parker, who hit 5 of 6 shots and scored 14 in the period.
But the outcome was never in doubt. Wade found James for a dunk with 10:14 remaining, then gave a joyous shout heading back to the other end. He had a more prolonged scream 17 seconds later after stealing the ball away from Steve Novak and going in for a dunk of his own that pushed the Miami edge to 87-67.
NOTES: It was the 26th time Bosh finished with at least 30 points and 12 rebounds in his career. Oddly, his teams are now 10-16 in those games. … Wade, who blocked five shots in Saturday’s romp over Memphis, had another for the highlight reel when he blocked Duncan’s layup with 7:36 left in the third. He looked at the overhead scoreboard for a replay, but Bosh getting fouled on the other end was shown instead. … The Spurs now have McDyess in the lineup to start alongside Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Richard Jefferson. ”I wanted to feel like I had something to do,” joked Popovich, who then said going to McDyess more at this time of year has been his plan for some time. … The father of Heat trainer Jay Sabol died Monday morning.