Spurs dominate the Cavs, take 2-0 series lead

6-10-07 -- Two down, two to go. The San Antonio Spurs are halfway to a fourth title and a chance to state their case as an NBA dynasty.

And LeBron James, you're a witness.

Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili had 25 and Tim Duncan added 23 as the Spurs schooled Cleveland in championship basketball for three quarters, overpowering the overmatched Cavaliers 103-92 in Game 2 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals.

San Antonio was vastly superior in every way imaginable -- until the last five minutes.

The Spurs, clicking on offense and digging their sneakers in on defense, built a 28-point lead in the first half and were embarrassing the Cavaliers, who are in their first finals but didn't show up until it was too late, getting within eight points in the final minutes.

The Spurs' Big 3 of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili combined for 43 points -- 10 more than the Cavs -- in the first half and as both teams walked off the floor of AT&T Center, the arena's p.a. announcer, Stan Kelly, summed up the first 24 minutes with a comment that would have been funny if it wasn't so painfully true for Cleveland.

"Spurs by a bunch," he said.

And at the same time, a fan held up a sign saying, "Bring Out LeBroom."

James, limited to 14 points in his finals debut, scored 25 to lead the Cavaliers. The Cavs' superstar got into early foul trouble and played less than three minutes in the first quarter, sitting when the Spurs ran away to their huge lead.

Down by 25 points at halftime and 27 after three, the Cavaliers went on a 22-4 run and eventually pulled within 95-87 on a three-point play by James with 4:53 left, a stunning turnaround for a team that looked done moments earlier.

But the Spurs, who got sloppy and perhaps disinterested, responded as they almost always do.

Ginobili hit a 3-pointer as he was fouled by rookie Daniel Gibson. The four-point play made it 101-89 with 2:24 remaining. Duncan grabbed a rebound and scored inside to bail out the Spurs, who were outscored 30-14 in the fourth quarter.

With two more victories, small-market San Antonio, often overlooked in the conversation of great teams, can join the Boston Celtics (16 titles), Los Angeles Lakers (14) and Chicago Bulls (6) as franchises with at least four championships.

"Four for Four" has become the popular catchphrase among San Antonio fans in these finals, and the Spurs are making it stick.

Game 3 is Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, which has never hosted a finals game and may only end up holding two unless the Cavaliers can put together four solid quarters.

Frustrated at being stuck on Cleveland's bench, James yelled something in the direction of coach Mike Brown and then rubbed his forehead with his hand as the Spurs blew through the Cavs for 40 minutes like a Texas tornado.

Parker, the Spurs' petite Frenchman, was magnifique.

He went 13-for-20 from the field, spun his way through defenders at will and made the Cavaliers look like shorts-wearing statues. Parker kept pushing the action in the third quarter, scoring 10 points to the delight of fiance Eva Longoria and Spurs fans, who aren't ready to plan any parades just yet.

In the 2005 finals, the Spurs won the first two games against Detroit but had to go seven to win the title.

The Cavaliers can look to last year's finals for comfort. Miami lost Games 1 and 2 in Dallas before going home to Florida and winning three straight and then beating the Mavericks on their home floor for their first championship.


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