The Miami Heat are set to face the San Antonio Spurs in the crucial fourth game of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, after facing a humiliating defeat at the American Airlines Arena in the last encounter.
San Antonio broke Miami's 11-game unbeaten streak at home and took a 2-1 lead in the finals. They converted about 76 percent shots in the first two quarters and raced to a 21-point lead at the end of the half-time, eventually winning the contest 111-92.
The Heat have not lost two games in a row for quite sometime now. They would be hoping to even the series and not let the home-court advantage slip away this time. Miami failed to match the intensity and speed of San Antonio in the last game, and even LeBron James struggled against the Spurs.
James said it was a painful loss for the team as every match is important in the postseason but insisted that he is not much concerned at this point. The four-time MVP added that they need to make small adjustments prior to Game 4 and remain focused in the contest.
"A loss is a loss," James said. "I mean, they're all painful no matter if you lose by 30 or you lose by one. They're all painful. That's what it's about when you get to this point in the season. You're always on edge in the postseason, but I don't want to be concerned at this point."
"For us, we have to make the adjustments. We owned what we had to do today in the film session and we'll come in with a better mind-set (in Game 4). But that doesn't mean it results in a win, too. But we have to play with a little bit more focus."
After going down 2-1 in the Finals last season, Miami rallied back to clinch the title. San Antonio's coach Gregg Popovich said he is not focusing on last year's games and is looking forward to the upcoming encounter.
"I don't think about last year at all at this point," Popovich said. "I don't think about last year Game 3, Game 4, at all. This is a different animal and I'm just concerned about the game tomorrow night."
It is important for the Heat to win the fourth game as no team has rallied back to win the title, after going down 3-1 in the Finals. Miami's coach Eric Spoelstra said the players will learn from the mistakes and try to improve in the forthcoming encounter.
"We did not play a good basketball game," Spoelstra said. "All of us have owned that. It doesn't matter ultimately how many you lose by or what the game is like. You have to learn from it, move on."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 9:00 pm ET (6:30 am IST, 1:00 am GMT) start with live coverage on ABC in the US and Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India. The game can be watched via live streaming option in the US HERE or HERE. The game can be live streamed by international viewers, including India HERE.