MIAMI (AP) - Here are five things to know as anticipation builds for the NBA Finals rematch between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. The series starts in San Antonio on Thursday night:
GAME 1 FACTS: The Spurs have never lost Game 1 of an NBA Finals. And Miami star LeBron James has never been part of a Game 1 road victory, in any round.
Maybe. Maybe not.
San Antonio - which has never played an NBA Finals game while facing a deficit in the series - has won each of its five Game 1’s in the title round, doing so by an average of 10.4 points per game.
Including his time in Cleveland, James has been on teams that opened playoff series on the road seven times. They’re 0-7, losing by an average of 12.3 points.
But in four of those seven occurrences, including all three times it’s happened with Miami, James and his team eventually won the series.
ALL THEY DO IS WIN: Over the last decade, no one has come close to matching the playoff win totals of the Spurs and Heat.
Since the start of the 2005 playoffs, including the first three rounds this year, San Antonio has a league-best 92 playoff victories, while Miami has won 89 playoff games.
No other franchise is even close: The Celtics and Lakers have both won 59 playoff games during that span.
Miami has the best playoff winning percentage in the last 10 postseasons, its mark there of .654 just edging San Antonio’s mark of .626.
There’s six teams who don’t even have 10 wins in the last 10 years - the Knicks (7), Raptors (6), Bucks (4), Kings (3), Bobcats-now-Hornets (0) and Timberwolves (not just zero wins, but also zero playoff games played).
A LAST BIT OF REST: Apparently, two days without practice is a standard perk for winning a conference title in the NBA these days.