History would suggest they did everything right.
Since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up for the "Big 3" era with the Miami Heat, there had been some absolute truths when it came to their home playoff games. When they shot at least 48 percent, they were 18-0. When they made at least 10 shots from 3-point range, they were 12-0. And in this postseason, they were a perfect 8-0 in their building.
No more. On any count.
No Miami miracle this time, either. A blowout got interesting for a few minutes, but in the end, it basically wound up as a blowout anyway — and the road to a third straight NBA championship got considerably tougher.
Down by a staggering 25 points at one point in the first half, the Heat whittled their way within single digits. But they never got all that close to the San Antonio Spurs and wound up falling 111-92 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. The Spurs lead the series 2-1, and need only to hold serve at home to end Miami's reign as NBA champions.
James and Wade each scored 22 points, Bosh didn't miss a shot, they connected on 52 percent of their tries from the floor, and they still got drilled. Rashard Lewis scored 14, Ray Allen had 11 and Bosh had only nine — getting just four shots in 34 minutes.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 29 points. Danny Green and Tony Parker each scored 15 for San Antonio and Tim Duncan added 14 for the Spurs.
The signs of trouble were obvious from the get-go. James had 14 points in the early going, and Miami was still down by seven. The Heat gave up 41 points in the first quarter, defense nowhere to be found.
At one point in the second quarter, it was Spurs 55, Heat 30. That matched the largest deficit Miami has faced at home at any point in the Big 3 era, tied only with the 25-point lead Oklahoma City held over the Heat during this regular season.
The numbers were absurd. Out of San Antonio's first 21 shots, the Spurs missed two. Yes, two. They were shooting 91 percent for the game at one point in the second quarter. They made 11 straight shots in one stretch. They had the best-shooting first half by any NBA team since ... well, them, more than three years ago against Detroit.
Miami got within seven in the second half, but it was never really in doubt. The building was just about empty when the final buzzer sounded.