NBA: Miami Heat suffer fourth-quarter meltdown to San Antonio Spurs



                                  LeBron James sitting on the bench.

San Antonio Spurs got their NBA Finals challenge off to the perfect start as the two-time defending champion Miami Heat wilted at the AT&T Center.

Led by 21 points from Tim Duncan the Spurs racked up a 110-105 victory, with a broken air conditioner system causing temperatures inside the arena to hit 33 degrees Celsius.

The conditions forced Miami’s LeBron James off late in the game suffering from heat-related problems.

“It felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Tony Parker also weighed in with 19 points for the Spurs, while Manu Ginobili came off the bench to add 16 points and 11 assists.

James scored a game-high 25 points but his absence late on proved crucial as the Spurs outscored Miami 36-17 in the fourth quarter.

“I think everybody got a little tired or dehydrated for sure,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

“I am sure both teams are going to be happy that we have a couple of days before the next game and hopefully we can pay our bills!”

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