Spurs shutting down James, lead Game 1 at half
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have combined
for 26 points, carrying the Spurs to a 40-35 lead over Cleveland at halftime
in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, as San Antonio has shut down LeBron James over
the first 24 minutes.
James, who has averaged 25.8 points in the postseason, was held to four in the
first half, all on free throws. He’s missed his first seven shots from the
This marks the fourth Finals appearance in the last nine seasons for the
Spurs, who are 3-0 in previous series. It’s also the first ever appearance for
Cleveland beat the Spurs in both meetings during the regular season, but
neither team reached the 90-point mark. That low-scoring trend has continued
through the first half of Thursday’s game.
James had two points in the first quarter as the Cavs trailed, 20-15 going
into the second, but Cleveland started the next period with a 10-2 spurt.
Larry Hughes capped the flurry with a short jumper midway through the stanza.
Parker then engineered the Spurs into the lead, factoring in an ensuing 11-1
run. He made a driving layup and then missed a free throw, but got his own
rebound and made a short shot. Parker then fed Francisco Elson with a bounce
pass, which turned into a dunk and three-point play. Duncan jammed before
Parker hit a layup for a 33-26 advantage.
Daniel Gibson’s layup had the Cavs within 37-35, but Manu Ginobili nailed a
three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the half.
Duncan has 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks at the half.
While the Spurs boast plenty of championship experience, the Cavaliers have
just one player who’s been to the NBA Finals – Eric Snow with the Philadelphia
76ers in 2001.
On the other side is Robert Horry, who has won six NBA titles. Horry drew a
charge from Donyell Marshall with 38.5 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The solid defense continued, as Ginobili drew an offensive foul on James with
3.7 seconds remaining, as LeBron ran over the Spurs guard.
San Antonio led by as many as six in the opening quarter, as Duncan’s two free
throws moved the advantage to 16-10 at the midway point.