SAN ANTONIO — As it turns out, the expiration date for a dynasty is more flexible than many believed.
Years after the NBA punditry determined that San Antonio was too old to remain contenders for a championship, the Spurs were spry enough to win their fifth title in 15 years, defeating the Miami Heat 104-87 Sunday to win the NBA Finals four games to one.
San Antonio, trailing 22-6 in the first quarter, responded by outscoring Miami 53-20 during a long stretch that extended into the second half.
Forward Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The 22-year-old was selected the Finals’ Most Valuable Player. Guard Manu Ginobili added 19 points, and forward Tim Duncan scored 14.
San Antonio guard Tony Parker missed his first 10 shots — he was scoreless late in the third quarter — but hit his next seven and finished with 16 points. His backup, Patty Mills, scored 17, including 14 in the third quarter.
The Spurs made 12 of 26 3-point attempts.
Forward LeBron James led Miami with 31 points and 10 rebounds, but once again, he did not receive much help. Center Chris Bosh was the Heat’s second-highest scorer with 13. Guard Dwyane Wade finished with 11. Bosh and Wade combined to hit 10 of 26 shots.
The Heat failed to score during the first four minutes of the second half.
Fans and media can debate whether the Spurs are a true sports dynasty because they never won championships in successive seasons, but they earn points for longevity. Duncan, 38, was around for all five titles, the first of them in 1999.
During this year’s Finals, Duncan set all-time NBA marks for postseason minutes played and playoff double-doubles — in his case, points and rebounds.
Ginobili, 36, and Parker, 32, were key cogs for each of the Spurs’ past four championships, including 2003, 2005 and 2007.
The Spurs were on the verge of winning the championship last season but lost Games 6 and 7 in Miami, the former after blowing a five-point lead in the final 28 seconds.
The Spurs led 47-40 at halftime Sunday after trailing by 16 points in the first quarter.
James ignited the fast start for the Heat, scoring 17 of Miami’s 29 first-quarter points. The Spurs, in addition to being unable to stop James, missed 10 of their first 11 shots.
The Spurs recovered sufficiently to cut the deficit to seven after the first quarter, and then they really rallied.
Leonard scored a steady 15 in the first half. Ginobili scored eight in the second quarter to finish the half with 14.
NOTES: Ray Allen replaced Mario Chalmers at guard in Miami’s starting lineup. … One reason that San Antonio began Sunday with a 3-1 lead over Miami is that the Spurs shot 54.2 percent in the first four games, the second-best mark through four games in the Finals in the NBA’s shot-clock era (since 1954-55), according to Elias Sports. Included, was the 75.7 percent the Spurs shot in the first half of Game 3, an NBA Finals record for any half. The Lakers shot 54.6 through four games in 1984 but lost in seven to the Boston Celtics. … Before this series, Miami never trailed by two games during F LeBron James’ four seasons with the Heat. … The Spurs won Games 3 and 4 in Miami by a total of 40 points, the largest margin of victory by any team in consecutive NBA Finals road games ever. … There are a lot of ways to describe the frustration of San Antonio’s opponents in the 2014 playoffs. One comes from James, who said, “Any little mistake you make, they make you pay.”
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