Kawhi Leonard and San Antonio Spurs shot their way into history — and back into the lead in the NBA Finals.
Leonard scored a career-high 29 points, and the Spurs made a finals-record 75.8 percent of their shots in the first half in a 111-92 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead.
The Spurs made 19 of their first 21 shots and finished 25 of 33 in the first half, bettering the 75 percent shooting by Orlando against the Lakers in the 2009 finals.
“I don’t think we’ll ever shoot 76 percent in a half ever again,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Spurs led by as much as 25 and were only briefly challenged in their second lopsided victory in the series.
Unlike Game 1, when they didn’t pull away until the final minutes, the Spurs were up big before halftime in this one.
Returning to the arena where they were oh-so-close to winning a fifth championship last year, the Spurs came out playing like they were trying to build a lead that was impossible to blow.
They shot 13 of 15 and led 41-25 lead after the first quarter, then hit their first six shots of the second in front of a stunned crowd in Miami to go ahead 55-30.
Leonard scored only 18 points in the first two games, looking frustrated while getting into foul trouble trying to defend James in Game 2. But he had his outside shot working early and the effect on the Spurs’ offense was obvious. He made his first six shots and finished 10 of 13 from the field.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had 22 points for the Heat, who host Game 4 on Thursday.