Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

June 6, 2014

Cramp!

LeBron James succumbs to cramps as Spurs prevail late against Miami

SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs beat the Heat. Miami couldn't beat the heat.

And there was the story of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

With LeBron James unable to play in the final 3:59 because of cramps throughout the left side of his body, and on a night where an air conditioning failure inside San Antonio's arena had temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, the Heat simply withered in the final minutes. As their four-time MVP could only watch, Miami watched as San Antonio pulled away in the final minutes for a 110-95 win on Thursday night in the opener of the title series.

"It's frustration and there's anger," James said as he lay on a training table long after the game. "But at the same time, it's something you try to prevent, you try to control. I got all the fluids I needed to get. I did my normal routine I've done. It's something that was inevitable for me tonight.

"It just sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point of the season."

James scored the last of his 25 points on a layup that got Miami within two. That was the end of his night; he stood still on the baseline afterward, unable to move his left leg because of cramping.

His night was over, and soon, so was the game. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 13 the rest of the way, and took the series-opener for the second straight finals.

The Heat were outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter.

Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and Ray Allen scored 16 for Miami. Rashard Lewis added 10 for the Heat.

"I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But at the same time we still had an opportunity."

James has dealt with cramping issues several times in the past, including during the 2012 NBA Finals against Oklahoma City — in a game in Miami.

"We're used to having the hotter arena," Spoelstra said.

Spoelstra insisted that the Heat would not use the temperature as an excuse, and said James tried to return to the game shortly after the cramp knocked him out.

"I just looked at him and said, 'Don't even think about it. You can't even move,'" Spoelstra said.

James didn't need much convincing. He knew. Cramps, he said, were affecting nearly the whole left side of his body.

"Any little step or nudge, it would get worse," James said. "It would lock up even worse. My muscles would just spasm at a 10 out of 10."

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Parker added 19 points and Manu Ginobili finished with 16 points and 11 assists for San Antonio, which improved to 10-1 at home in the playoffs.

James was affected throughout the second half, asking for breaks more than once, and some players placed ice bags on the backs of their necks in an effort to combat the temperature.

Duncan said the heat was a significant factor in the game.

"I don't know what happened to LeBron, but I think all of us were feeling the heat," Duncan said. "We were all dehydrated."

If there is a bright side for James — who used cold towels, drank what he could and even changed uniforms at halftime — it's that Game 2 isn't until Sunday.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged afterward that James' departure obviously played a role in the finish, though lauded the way his team executed in the deciding minutes.

"Certainly could have been a different story. There's no doubt about that," Popovich said.

It's not the first time electricity has had a significant impact on a championship event in recent years. The Super Bowl in 2013 between Baltimore and San Francisco was marred by a power outage at the Superdome in New Orleans, interrupting play for 34 minutes.

Power was the culprit in Game 1 of the finals as well, arena officials said.

"An electrical failure for the power that runs the AC system in the AT&T Center has occurred," Spurs Sports and Entertainment said in a statement distributed in the second half. "We are continuing to work on resolving the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Many fans removed the giveaway black T-shirts handed out before the game, obviously wanting to wear as few layers inside the steamy building as possible.

"Not NBA Finals worthy," Wade said of the conditions in the locker room afterward. "I'll tell you that. This is crazy."

1
Text Only
Sports
  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks