‘Crazy play’ from Parker steals NBA Finals opener for Spurs
(CNN) — San Antonio Spurs snatched Game One of the NBA Finals after a “crazy play” from Tony Parker gave Gregg Popovich’s team a 92-88 win away to defending champion Miami Heat.
The Frenchman’s off-balance jump shot beat the shot clock by one-hundredth of a second to steal home court advantage from Miami.
“It was a crazy play. I thought I lost the ball three or four times,” Parker told reporters after finishing with a game-high 21 points at the American Airlines arena.
“It didn’t work out like I wanted it to. At the end I was just trying to get a shot up. I was happy it went in.”
It was the Heat’s LeBron James who tried, in vain, to stop Parker’s buzzer-beater — which landed with just 5.2 seconds left in regulation.
“Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession,” said James. “He stumbled two or three times, he fell over and when he fell over I was like OK, I am going to have to tie this ball up.
“He got up and went under my arm. I got a great contest … it barely got off. That was the longest 24 seconds that I’ve been part of.”
Miami had opportunities to make a winning start to the best-of-seven game series, but couldn’t hold onto a three-point lead heading into the final quarter.
“We had our chances to win,” added James. “We had four turnovers in the fourth. We gave them some offensive rebounds in the fourth as well. We can’t allow that.”
Popovich said he tried to tell his players to keep their cool when they were under pressure.
“What we can do is continue to play defense, rebound and just hang and hang and hang,” said the 64-year-old.
“It is a 48-minute game. In the NBA things go back and forth. The ability to move on to the next play is what’s important if a team wants to be really good.”
This year’s finals are receiving global coverage, with live broadcasts in 215 countries in 47 different languages.
There are also a record 10 players from outside of the United States playing in the series.
The Heat will look to get off the mark in Game Two on Sunday, also in Miami. Game Three, set to take place on Tuesday, will see the series switch to the AT & T Center in San Antonio.