Leonard wins the NBA Finals MVP in a landslide vote. For the series, he averaged 17.8 points on 61% shooting. He also had the role of guarding LeBron James. Coach Popovich:
He’s a great learner and he’s super competitive, has a drive to be the best that’s really uncommon in our league. He walks the walk. I mean, he’s there early, he’s there late. He wants more. He wants me and the coaches to push him. So I just talked to him about not being in that defer sort of stage. The hell with Tony, the hell with Timmy, the hell with Manu, you play the game. You are the man.
Right now, it’s just surreal to me. I have a great group of guys behind me.
The San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 5 in order to win the 2014 NBA title. For the Heat, James puts up 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. For the Spurs, Leonard puts up 22 points and 10 rebounds, and wins the Finals MVP award. James:
We had a great first quarter, but from that point on they were the better team, and that’s why they’re the champions in 2014.
It makes last year OK
The Spurs defeat the Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals and take a 3-1 series lead. Leonard puts up 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs. James drops 28 points and 8 rebounds for the Heat. James:
They smashed us. Two straight home games got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these last two games. It’s just that simple.
Spurs coach Popovich:
I’m pleased that they performed as well as they did while we’ve been in Miami, and that’s about as far as it goes. Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.
The Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Leonard leads the Spurs with 29 points and 4 rebounds. For the Heat, James drops 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Spurs have a phenomenal first half, shooting 25-33 from the field. Ginobili:
It’s not something you can plan for. There was no magic plays. We just moved the ball, and every shot went in.
Spurs coach Popovich:
I don’t think we’ll ever shoot 76 percent in a half ever again.
The Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals. James leads the Heat with 35 points and 10 rebounds. For the Spurs, Duncan puts up 18 points and 15 rebounds. Duncan:
Down the end there they executed really well. LeBron made some great passes and guys made open shots. We had the same result in the first game. They kind of flipped it in this one.
James leaves Game 1 of the NBA Finals before the match is finished because of severe leg cramping. The leg cramping is caused by extremely warm temperatures after the air conditioning in the arena malfunctions. James
It was the whole left leg, damn near the whole left side. I was losing a lot [of fluids] throughout the game. It was extremely hot in the building, you know, both teams, fans, everybody could feel it. I was the one that had to take the shot.
The San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. For the Spurs, Duncan has 19 points and 10 rebounds. For the Heat, James has 25 points and 6 rebounds. The arena experiences an air conditioning malfunction during the match. Spurs coach Popovich:
It was tough on both teams. They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. … It was really hot out there.