Spurs ahead 55-36 at halftime of Game 4 - NBC Sports

Spurs ahead 55-36 at halftime of Game 4
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MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks against the Miami Heat during Game Four of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on June 12, 2014. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
June 12, 2014, 10:29 pm

MIAMI (AP) The San Antonio Spurs were dominating the Miami Heat again in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, opening a 55-36 halftime lead Thursday night.

Trying to take a 3-1 lead back home, the Spurs shot 56 percent and led by as much as 22 points against the Heat, who looked powerless to slow San Antonio's ball movement.

Not quite as sharp as when they shot a finals-record 75.8 percent in first half Tuesday night, the Spurs were still plenty good enough to open another huge lead before a Miami crowd that was booing the home team in the final minutes of the second quarter.

Tony Parker scored 12 points for the Spurs.

LeBron James had nine points for the Heat, while Dwyane Wade was 1 for 7 for four points.

Game 5 is Sunday night in San Antonio. No team has blown a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs knew their defense had to be better, realizing their once-in-a-lifetime, 19-for-21 start in Tuesday's 111-92 rout covered the fact that they allowed Miami to make more than 50 percent in the game.

The defense was definitely improved in the first half, holding Miami to 12 of 34 (35 percent).

At the end of their fourth straight season that went the distance, the Heat looked as if they might be running out of gas.

The Spurs missed their first three shots after needing 22 attempts to miss three times Tuesday. They quickly got untracked from there, running off a 13-2 spurt to open a nine-point lead, and that was the margin when they went to the second ahead 26-17.

San Antonio got the first five of the second to make it 31-17 on Danny Green's 3-pointer, and the Spurs blew it open later in the quarter with seven straight points, capped by Kawhi Leonard's soaring follow dunk that made it 55-33.

James, who battled cramps in Game 1, left the court and briefly returned to the locker room midway through the first quarter.

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