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Spurs 98, Heat 85

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The Spurs were too much for the Heat to handle last night.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio started out hot and never let the Heat get back into it last night. They used a 17-2 run in the opening quarter to open an 11-point lead at the first break. The Spurs shot 59% through the frame to send Miami eight games below .500 for the first time this season.

Kawhi Leonard hit five of his first six three-point attempts and finished with a game leading 24 points. Tony Parker kicked in 21 on a very efficient nine-for-12 performance, and Tim Duncan had a double-double, with 10 points and a dozen boards. It was Miami's first visit to San Antonio since the 2014 NBA Finals.

That's elite-level ball-handling, ball movement, passing and IQ and shooting. And great coaching. It's the full package. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, gushing over Spurs coach Greg Popovich, who earned his 999th regular season win.

Tyler Johnson led Miami off the bench with 18 points, going seven-for-10 and making both of his three-pointers. Luol Deng had 17 with six rebounds, while Chris Bosh had 14 with seven and three assists. Shabazz Napier showed off some nifty passing and led Miami with five assists. Chris Andersen also looked pretty good, throwing down 10 on a combination of outside shooting and alley-oop passes.

Miami kept within shouting distance, ending the half trailing by 11 after watching Leonard and Parker both put up 16 points. Miami's Johnson tried to make a game of it late, scoring 11 in the final quarter, but San Antonio kept the Heat at arms distance.

Miami really felt the absence of new-leading rebounder Hassan Whiteside, out with a sprained ankle. The Heat were outrebounded, 43-to-37. Adding injury (literally) to insult, Udonis Haslem had to remove himself from play after landing awkwardly on his right hand in the first quarter. Initial x-rays of Haslem's wrist were thankfully negative.

Next up for Miami, the New York Knicks on Monday night. For more on them, go to Posting and Toasting. If you'd like to read more about San Antonio, check out Pounding The Rock.