SAN ANTONIO: Tim Duncan tallied 21 points and 10 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs stunned the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 110-105 in game one of the NBA finals on Thursday.
A broken air-conditioning system inside the AT&T Center arena caused all sorts of problems for both teams, especially Miami’s LeBron James, who had to leave the closely-contested match late in the fourth quarter suffering from heat-related problems.
Temperatures inside the arena hit 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) during the second half.
“I think everybody got a little tired or dehydrated for sure,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. “I am sure both teams are going to be happy that we have a couple of days before the next game and hopefully we can pay our bills.”
But NBA officials weren’t laughing on Thursday. The Spurs and the league blamed the sauna-like conditions on a problem with the electrical supply to the air-conditioning in the building.
James finished with a game-high 25 points but even before he went to the bench for good he had trouble getting up and down the floor under his own steam because of apparent cramping in his legs.
Just before he left the game and headed to the dressing room—with four minutes remaining in the fourth—last year’s finals MVP had to be carried across the floor by his teammates to the Miami bench.