12 months ago the San Antonio Spurs were at their lowest ebb. Beaten in Game 7 of an NBA Finals series they had two chances to end was a bitter pill to swallow.
12 months later, the very same Spurs stood tall on the podium hastily erected on the AT&T Center court to allow the Spurs to celebrate their 5th title since 1999.
The two series, however, could not be more different. The Spurs lost a hard-fought, close series in 2013. In 2014, all four wins came by at least 15 points, with the solitary loss by just two points.
Kawhi Leonard, named 2014 NBA Finals MVP at the tender age of 22 – third-youngest of all-time – led the team with 22 points and 10 rebounds and was a thorn in the side of LeBron James for what felt like the 100th time this season.
The championship trophy returns to San Antonio after a seven-year hiatus, joining title won in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
Tim Duncan also pulls alongside Kobe Bryant in the title wins column.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the Heat actually took command of the game early in the first quarter, opening the game on a 22-6 run as LeBron James powered the Heat into an early lead.
That lead wouldn’t even last until halftime, however, as the Spurs outscored Miami 37-13 over the next quarter-plus. San Antonio’s run extended to 59-22 as they slammed the door shut whenever Miami tried to chip the lead away.
With Dwyane Wade held in check yet again, LeBron James had to drag his team through the game, scoring 31 points to go with 10 rebounds, though it would prove nowhere near enough. Chris Bosh was the only other Heat player in double-digits for scoring with 13 points.