The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four stars. The Miami Heat almost could not. Ray Allen's three-pointer with 22. 6 seconds left gave...
MIAMI — The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four stars.
The Miami Heat almost could not.
Ray Allen’s three-pointer with 22.6 seconds left gave the Heat the lead, LeBron James finished with 23 points and the Heat rallied late to beat the Spurs 105-100 on Thursday night — needing to dig deep despite San Antonio’s decision to have four standouts resting at home in a move that angered NBA commissioner David Stern.
Allen scored 20 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and Chris Bosh finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, now 7-0 at home.
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Gary Neal had 20 points for the Spurs, who played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green. The Spurs’ top foursome was sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team’s best interest. Stern wasn’t happy about it, calling the move “unacceptable” and saying that sanctions against the Spurs will be forthcoming.
Tiago Splitter scored 18 points, Nando De Colo added 15, Boris Diaw scored 12 and Matt Bonner had a 10-point, 10-rebound night for San Antonio, which finished a six-games-in-nine-nights road trip with a 5-1 record.
The Spurs led by seven with five minutes left and were up 98-93 after Neal made a three-pointer with 2:14 remaining.
The Heat finished on a 12-2 run.
But all anyone will likely remember from this game is Popovich’s decision — and whatever Stern does as a result.
“I apologize to all NBA fans,” Stern said. “This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs, and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”
• Andre Iguodala’s three-pointer as the buzzer sounded was waved off, and the host Golden State Warriors held on for a wild 106-105 win over the Denver Nuggets after four replay reviews over the final 3.4 seconds. Former Cougar Klay Thompson scored 21 points for the Warriors.
• Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for the third time this calendar year when the NBA told him to sit out two games for starting a skirmish against the Brooklyn Nets.
• Center Andrew Bogut, recovering from microfracture ankle surgery, insists he will no longer even attempt to guess when he will return to the court for the Golden State Warriors.