Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 110-95 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals inside a sweltering AT&T Center.
With an air conditioning failure making it feel like basketball in a sauna and causing LeBron James to battle cramps that knocked him out of the game’s decisive stretch, the Spurs pulled away to win the opener of the first NBA Finals rematch since 1998.
Manu Ginobili had 16 points and 11 assists, and Tony Parker added 19 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who shot 59 percent and improved to 6-for-6 in the first game of NBA Finals all-time.
James finished with 25 points but played only 33 minutes, and Miami was outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter.
Players were placing ice bags on their necks while sitting on the bench and during timeouts, and James told teammates during a stoppage in play that “they’re trying to smoke us out of here.”
Temperatures inside the arena were measured in the mid-80s. Most everyone in the crowd was using something to fan themselves.
Arena officials said an electrical failure caused the problem and apologized for any inconvenience.
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