Basketball / Sports

NBA Game 1 honor roll includes Duncan, Diaw

SAN ANTONIO -- Among the notable individual superlatives by San Antonio Spurs players in Game 1 of the NBA Finals:

--Tim Duncan joined Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only players in the shot-clock era (post 1953) to produce at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and shoot at least 90 percent from the field in a Finals game.

--Manu Ginobili became the first player with at least 15 points and 10 assists in a Finals game when coming off the bench.

--Danny Green achieved the nifty feat of scoring 11 points in a two-minute, 17-second span of the fourth quarter.

But do you know the player who was on the floor when the Spurs outscored the Miami Heat by the largest margin?

It was Boris Diaw, who made only 1 of 5 shots in 33 minutes. The Spurs outscored the Heat by a game-high 30 points with Diaw in the game. He scored only two points but contributed 10 rebounds and six assists.

"He's good inside, he's good outside, good passer," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He allows us to play big and play small at the same time."

Diaw, who is 6-8, is listed on basketballreference.com as both a power forward and shooting guard, but, in reality, he can play any position.

"If I'm playing someone taller, I'm going to use my quickness and skills I learned as a guard," Diaw said Friday. "If I play someone smaller, I use my strength and length. I've always done a little of everything."

He said he prefers "facing the basket than being inside and pounding."

Duncan said Friday that Diaw's evolution "has really changed our team."

TURNOVER ISSUES: San Antonio's 23 turnovers in Game 1, leading to 28 Heat points, were the most by a team in a Finals victory since the Lakers committed that many in Game 1 of the 1982 Finals.

"For us, that's always a bad sign," Popovich said. "If that continues, we're going to have a big problem."

Popovich also said the Spurs yielded too many open three-pointers. The Heat made 12 of 29 shots from three-point range, but Ray Allen missed three uncontested threes.

"They missed some wide, wide-open shots that scare you to death once you watch the film," Popovich said. "That's not just blowing smoke or an exaggeration. There were about seven or eight wide-open threes they had that just didn't go down."

--The Spurs do a good job of limiting the Heat's trips to the free-throw line. A year after setting a Finals record for fewest free throws in a seven-game Finals, the Heat took only 11 in Game 1, compared with 22 for the Spurs.

"We were aggressive enough going to the basket to get to the line," Heat center Chris Bosh said. "They have very good hands. We're going to get to the line. We attack a little bit more than they do. That will even out."

--Popovich on Green, who shook off an 0-for-5 start through three quarters to score 11 points in the fourth: "That's his major skill. If he's not going to do that, then we might as well play somebody else."

RATINGS UP: ABC's 9.0 national rating Thursday tied for the second-highest for a Game 1 of an NBA Finals since 2004 and topped the 8.8 for the first game of last year's Heat-Spurs series.

In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, 30.5 percent of homes with TV sets were tuned in -- easily the Heat's highest rating of the postseason.

That ranked second among metered markets, with San Antonio first at 40.4.

(c)2014 The Miami Herald

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