Sports

'The better team won'

LeBron praises the selfless Spurs

Minutes after the Miami Heat were beaten in the NBA Finals in a Game 5 rout, LeBron James (above) conceded the San Antonio Spurs were simply a better team.

"That's how team basketball should be played," James said, after the 104-87 drubbing that closed out the series and gave the Spurs their fifth championship.

"You know, it's selfless. Guys move, cut, pass, you've got a shot, you take it, but it's all for the team and it's never about the individual. That's the brand of basketball.

"They were the much better team."

No one disputes that James is the best player in the world but the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player had little help against San Antonio.

He scored 31 points, had 10 rebounds and five assists yesterday morning (Singapore time), leading the Heat in each category while the other components of the Heat's "Big Three", Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were ineffective.

With the Spurs' "Big Three" of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili continuing to shine, James said the Heat will need to get better to keep pace.

"Obviously we would need to get better from every facet, every position," he said.

"It's just how the league works. The Spurs continue to get better.

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"They kept those guys intact, but they continue to put guys around them, high-basketball-IQ guys around them, high-energy guys around them that fit into the system of what Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) wanted to do."

There will be much talk about revamping the Heat from now on.

James was scoring efficiently, surrounded by teammates who couldn't.

San Antonio were buoyed by a better bench, and veterans with fresher legs.

Miami have to make moves to strengthen.

They put a lot into Dwyane Wade's maintenance plan this season but he spluttered.

The Heat also learned the extent to which they could trust Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole - not a whole lot, as it turned out.

If the Heat are to rise again, the quality of the rest of the club's roster must go up. - Reuters.